Survey: Banner Ads Most Effective in Luring Web Shoppers

Twenty-five percent of experienced Internet users said that banner advertising drove them to shop online, beating out all other media, according to a new industry survey.

Newspapers and/or magazines ads ranked next at 14 percent, followed by television commercials (11 percent), radio spots (4 percent), and billboards (4 percent), according to a nationwide survey of nearly 1,500 experienced Internet users by Andersen Consulting.

While most Web site banner ads are price-oriented, less than half of experienced Web users cited price as the primary factor driving their online purchases, according to the survey. Instead, consumers ranked convenience, time savings and site security as more meaningful factors.

“Promoting rock-bottom prices won’t ensure online purchases or repeat business,” said Mary Tolan, Andersen Consulting’s managing partner for retail. “Savvy Net consumers consider the full shopping experience — from first click to home delivery.”

“Consumers want to be able to return merchandise, and they don’t like paying for delivery, which suggests a new set of marketing messages, she added. “e-tailers can choose to promote themselves to death over decreasing prices, or they can deliver holistic services that provide real value to consumers and generate real profits.”

According to the study, 82 percent of experienced Web users are going online to buy gifts this holiday season, up from 56 percent last year. In addition, 55 percent of holiday Web shoppers say they will make at least one holiday purchase online this year, up from 37 percent last season.

Interestingly, only 34 percent of online holiday shoppers said they will know exactly what they want to purchase when they go online this season, while 63 percent will have a gift idea, but will not know exactly what they want to purchase.

Online retailers offering advice and personalized gift suggestions will boost customer loyalty and expand bottom line profits, the study said. Andersen Consulting is an $8.3 billion global management and technology consulting organization. A total of 1,472 Internet users were sampled for the survey.

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