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Almost half of Britons use phones in-store to ensure they’re getting the best product prices

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A new study from money saving brand has revealed that as many as 47% of Britons actively search for a better deal for a product they want to buy using their smartphone whilst in-store before committing to the purchase, to take advantage of price match guarantees or to see if another retailer is selling the same product at a more competitive rate.

According to the research, 31% of Britons immediately purchase something that they see and want whilst in a store, with the remaining 69% not being quite as impulsive; either choosing to search for comparative deals for the item first or choosing to prioritise certain bills before buying products they see and like.

The research backs up similar findings from EE that showed that 41% of Brits – equivalent to almost 22 million shoppers – regularly ‘showroom’ by using their mobile devices to check for better prices – and a lot more besides – while in-store.

The team at undertook the study as part of ongoing research into the purchasing process of Britons. 2,254 Britons aged 18 and over were quizzed about their buying habits and what factors came into play when deciding whether or not to purchase something on the spot.

Initially, all respondents were then asked ‘When you see something in a shop that you want, do you normally instantly buy it?’ to which the majority of respondents, 69%, stated ‘no’, and just 31% saying ‘yes’. Those who said ‘yes’ were asked what made them more prone to instant purchases and the most common reasons cited were ‘because I can afford to’ (35%), ‘I knew I’d regret not purchasing it if I didn’t’ (31%) and ‘I’m just an impulsive person’ (26%). All respondents who said that they didn’t tend to purchase items instantly were asked why, with the most common reasons cited as ‘I like to shop around before buying’ (35%), ‘I need to prioritise bills/other financial commitments before buying’ (21%) and ‘I never know instantly if I can afford something’ (20%).

All respondents were then asked ‘Do you actively search for a discount, voucher or better deal for an item on your smartphone whilst you’re in the store where the product you want to buy is being sold?’ Almost half of respondents, 47%, said ‘yes’. When asked how often this tactic saved them money, 71% of the relevant respondents said ‘almost every time’.

According to the poll, 58% of those respondents who stated that they didn’t tend to make purchases impulsively (i.e. without delay/shopping around) admitted that they normally go on to buy the item(s) at a later date. The remaining respondents said that they tended to either ‘change mind about wanting/needing the product’ (29%) or ‘realise that I definitely can’t afford the item(s)’ (13%).

Respondents were asked if there was a certain threshold amount in terms of the cost of items they tended to look for discounts/voucher codes for before buying. According to the study, people are most likely to seek a cheaper deal once an item costs £50 or more (89% of people agreed).

Chris Johnson, Head of Operations at, commented: “With so many retailers on the high street and online offering the same products, it’s no surprise that, in this digital age, consumers are constantly shopping around to ensure that they get the best deals. Yes, there are occasions when impulse takes over and we just have to buy something there and then, whether it’s a must-have item or it’s an offer that looks too good to pass up on, but the results of this survey show that we have no shame in searching for discounts whilst in-store looking at a product.

“Anyone who buys an item in a store or online without shopping around a bit or seeing what offers and discount vouchers are available for the item – be that with the retailer or elsewhere – is missing out on potentially huge savings. Nobody should ever assume that one price they see in a shop will be pretty much identical everywhere else that sells the item.”

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