Browse online more often than in stores
A large majority of US Internet user are avid cross-channel shoppers, according to “Cross-Channel Commerce: The Consumer View,” a survey from e-commerce solutions provider ATG and conducted by MarketTools.
Almost one-half of respondents said they used two channels to research and purchase products and services, and 30% used three or more. While Internet users were more likely to say they made a purchase in-store at least weekly (65%, versus 14% online), they browsed and research online more frequently (61% at least weekly, compared with 37% in-store).
eMarketer senior analyst Jeffrey Grau noted in a March 2010 report, “US Retail E-Commerce Forecast: Room to Grow,” that the Web’s main contribution to retailing overall was as a research tool.
“The Internet’s 7.7% share of total retail sales pales in comparison to its influence on store sales,” said Mr. Grau. “Forrester Research estimated in its new study, ‘U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2009 to 2014,’ that online research influenced a striking 42% of online and offline sales in 2009.”
Consumers often research online or via a mobile device and then turn to in-store shopping to get the look and feel of an item in person, a practice reported by 39% of respondents to the ATG survey. Another 36% liked to compare competing brands in person, while 43% said they began their research on the Web or mobile but called a customer service rep for the information needed to complete the transaction.
The majority of Internet users are not yet participating in social shopping activities, and more than one-fifth were not even aware of the possibility.
Younger users were more interested in tying their online purchases to their social media activities. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, 42% did so at least sometimes, compared with 23% of 35- to 54-year-olds and just 8% of respondents ages 55 and up. Still, even among the 18-to-34 group, 18% of respondents were unaware of social shopping.
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Check out today’s other article, “Quantifying Social Results.”