Consumers Changing Shopping Patterns

Dec 09, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

It’s been documented that many consumers research a purchase online before going to buy it in a store.

Now, new research indicates a growing number of shoppers are doing their research in the store or in the pages of catalogs before making their purchase online. and surveyed 1,252 online buyers and 80 online retailers as part of the eHoliday Mood Study. Forty-five percent of respondents indicated making a
visit to a store or reading a catalog before ultimately purchasing the item(s) online. Half of respondents researched online before going to the store to make a purchase.

Scott Silverman, executive director of, the online division of the National Retail Federation, said the research confirms the importance of a multi-channel strategy.
“Retailers have succeeded in combining their Web sites, stores and catalogs into a seamless shopping experience that lets consumers shop where and when they want.”

Moderator’s Comment: Are retailers without a strong presence on the Internet at a competitive disadvantage?

If they’re looking to sell anything to us, they are, although there are some exceptions, with Trader Joe’s coming immediately to mind. We often make visits
to a store to check out an item before ultimately buying it online.

Our decision to buy online is being made easier by merchants offering free shipping since we calculate this into our expenditure before making a purchase.
Forty-four percent of retailers responding to the eHoliday Mood Study said free shipping was their most effective marketing tactic.
Anderson – Moderator

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