A quarter of UK shoppers visited a store to see products before using their mobile phone to compare prices elsewhere in the run up to Christmas.

Some 40% of shoppers who undertook the activity, which has been termed showrooming, then went on to buy elsewhere according to a study by user experience specialist Foolproof. This equates to around £500m of sales switching between retailers in the weekend before Christmas.

Showrooming is more common in younger shoppers; 39% of 18 to 39 year olds surveyed said they used their phones to check prices over the period compared to 18% of over 40s.

Meanwhile, over 20% of people said they went into a store just to check out something they planned to buy online.

Foolproof managing partner Peter Ballard said: “One in 10 shoppers switched purchases from one retailer to another as a direct result of showrooming.

“The high street needs to find ways of accommodating and embracing showrooming as part of the modern-day shopping process. Actions can range from price-matching policies, offering a checkout and delivery experience that is slicker than going elsewhere, and better integration of their online and offline customer experiences.”