Checking Prices Via Your Mobile? IDC Finds “Showrooming” Trend Most Popular On Saturdays

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Consumers who use their mobile apps to check prices on items sold in brick-and-mortar retail stores, a practice often dubbed “showrooming,” is an increasingly common trend. But according to new data published by IDC in conjunction with mobile data usage stats from Onavo, it’s a trend that surges on weekends. Monday through Friday shoppers tend to use retail apps like those from Target, Walgreens, Best Buy and Walmart, more than they do price comparison apps like barcode scanners and Amazon’s price checking features.

During the weekend, that trend reverses, and consumers shift their attention to price comparison apps, says IDC. Its study specifically looked at BarCode Reader, PriceCheck by Amazon, RedLaser by eBay, and ShopSavvy for this report. While it’s not entirely surprising that consumers have more time to “shop around” on weekends looking for the best deal, here’s something that is notable: Saturday is the biggest day for “showrooming,” but the biggest day for retail app usage is Sunday.

Although, in total, retail apps are used more on weekdays than on weekends, Sunday’s spike here seems to imply that more mobile price checking and “showrooming” on Saturdays may be leading to more mobile purchases on Sundays, says IDC.

In a recent report on the same trend from comScore, 35% of U.S. consumers said they had “showroomed,” and then later chose to buy online specifically because of better prices. And 50% of those engaging in this trend were 25-34 years old. The practice was also found to be more common in urban areas, which is somewhat counterintuitive, since you would think that more less populated areas would need to shop online more often, given they would have fewer stores. But perhaps that speaks to the relationship between people and their tech in these regions? Currently, showrooming is most popular with consumer electronics and apparel, comScore previously found.

In addition to the Saturday spike, IDC’s latest says that the second highest day for retail app usage is Monday, which indicates that the Sunday retail app usage has a positive carry-over effect on Mondays. IDC says it would have otherwise expected Saturday or Friday as the number two day, since Sunday is the top day for retail app usage.

Maybe it’s time for more Saturday-only sales, retailers.