Online Drives Offline
By Tom Ryan
Consumers who research products like televisions and digital cameras online spend an average of 10 percent more in-store than their non-web searching counterparts, according to research from Yahoo! and ChannelForce.
The survey involved 1,100 in-person interviews conducted between February and March at Best Buy, Circuit City, Fry’s Electronics and Target. It sampled both purchasers and those who shopped for the products but didn’t buy. Respondents were asked how much education they had on their desired products when they walked in the store, where and how they researched the products, and the key sources that persuaded them to make a brand decision for the purchase.
Key findings include:
- Internet primary research tool: 75 percent of those who researched purchases before visiting a store used the internet as their primary source of information. The leading online resources were retail websites (73 percent), manufacturer websites (68 percent) and search engines (49 percent).
- Internet researchers spend more: Consumers who use search engines
to research online spend 10 percent more than non-searchers. Those who search
spend an average of $31 more on digital cameras and $46 more on digital camera
packages; and an average of $139 more on TVs and $190 on TV packages.
- Internet researchers ready to buy: More than 80 percent of consumers
researching before making a purchase end up buying a brand from their original
consideration set. The remaining 20 percent said an in-store sales person
was highly influential in their decision.
- Demographics skew male, young, higher income: Men (44 percent) are
much more likely than women (27 percent) to regularly shop this way. Among
age groups, those ages 25 to 34 (41 percent) are the most avid cross-channel
shoppers vs. 55 to 64 (31 percent), and 65 and older (23 percent). Consumers
with annual incomes of at least $50,000 (44 percent) are more likely to shop
in this manner than consumers with lower incomes (28 percent).
“We know that the brand experience begins well before the shopper walks into the store,” said Kurt Higgins, president of ChannelForce.
“Manufacturers and retailers should consider this information not only for marketing, but also for continuously educating and evangelizing store personnel.”
Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst, said, “Internet-influenced store sales are greater than online sales. And it is also likely that the gap will widen as internet-influenced sales increase at a faster rate than online sales.”
Discussion Questions: Did anything surprise you about the findings of the online research study? How can retailers and manufacturers do a better job driving brick & mortar purchases through their websites?
- Shoppers who first search online spend more in the store, study finds – internetretailer.com
- Shop Online, Spend Offline – eMarketer