Multi-Channel Shoppers Too Smart For Retailers’ Own Good

Aug 09, 2002

According to a new study from Jupiter Research, “Redefining the Online Retail Consumer”, multi-channel shoppers may be doing a lot of buying but that does not necessarily add up to more profits for retailers.

Juliana Deeks, associate analyst, Jupiter Research said, “The results uncover a surprising trend: these ‘active multi-channel shoppers’ are actually a liability. While they account for a disproportionately high share of Web-related purchasing volume overall, this group is more deal-driven, is more aware of price in every channel and consumes more in terms of costly site features such as live help. Retailers are confronted with a difficult dilemma: how much do customers who shop across their channels merit attention and resources beyond those allocated to other online shoppers?”

The Jupiter study found that 52 percent of the U.S. online population (82 million consumers) has used the Internet both to purchase and to research purchases made off-line. Only 10 percent of consumers have done so across channels of the same retailer. Based on the findings, which it calls controversial, Jupiter Research is encouraging retailers to make customer segmentation the basis for allocating resources towards cross-channel shoppers.

Moderator’s Comment: How much attention do cross-channel
shoppers merit from retailers?

It makes sense (to us anyway) that active users of the
Internet would be more selective in where they choose to make purchases. These
consumers tend to be better educated, more affluent, etc.

We’re not sure where the controversy is. Oh, we’ve just
been reminded that the study is for sale. Never mind – hyperbole accepted. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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