Almost a third of shoppers see an item in person before buying online

Digital Marketing, Ecommerce By Rhys Little, 18th February 2014

A new study has shown that 31 per cent of shoppers go to look at an item on the high street before purchasing it online, a tactic known as ‘showrooming’.

According to, the study conducted by Deloitte and commissioned by eBay revealed 18 per cent of UK shoppers account for 70 per cent of all retail sales in Britain. Moreover, these consumers tend to browse e-retailer websites across a number of mobile devices and are 30 per cent more likely to research products online before making a purchase.

Using a mobile phone or tablet, the UK’s biggest spenders are twice as likely to purchase products through a click and collect service, meaning they buy the item through the retailer’s website before picking it up in store later.

Overall, the majority of Brits will make sure they do sufficient research on whatever they’re buying if they’re going to spend over £100, with two-thirds using a variety of retail sources. In addition, three-quarters look at reviews online, use price comparison sites to make sure they’re getting the best deal and search online marketplaces for further information, reports

A presence on social media platforms is important to consumers too, as 29 per cent of Brits follow their favourite brands on such sites. This is highly beneficial to retailers, as 22 per cent of brand followers state they have been influenced by companies social media activity.

Tanya Lawler, vice president of eBay UK, said having both a physical and online presence is important to customers.

“Customers are in the driving seat and pushing retailers for ever higher standards of service and greater convenience,” she explained. “[They] fully expect your store and online channels to be joined up and can have little patience if they aren’t.”