A new survey has isolated a large demographic of Internet users marketers may want to retool their strategies to reach: the Web-to-Store (W2S) shopper.
The so-called “2005 Web2Store Benchmark Survey” was conducted by The Dieringer Group, polling 1,101 consumers who used the Internet to research products or stores before making a local shopping trip in Q4 2004.
This group favors the Internet primarily as a research tool and a time-saving device for retail purchases they make offline, said Dave Hamel, CMO of CrossMedia Services, the parent company of ShopLocal.com, which commissioned the survey.
“It’s pretty significant as a niche, in that includes 83 million people,” Hamel said. “It may cause online marketers to balance the e-commerce focus of their Web campaigns with information-centric creative pointing Internet users to the brick-and-mortar storefront.”
The study found for every dollar spent online, the average W2S shopper spends $1.60 offline at local stores. Among affluent shoppers, the disparity is even more acute, with W2S shoppers spending $1.98 offline at locals stores for every dollar spent online.
“Not everybody wants to buy everything online,” said Thomas Miller, senior consultant at Dieringer, who referred to the survey’s finding that among W2S shoppers, 70 percent say they do more W2S now than they did a year ago. In 2005, 48 percent of W2S shoppers plan to more of this type of research online, and buy offline than in 2004.
Other findings include:
- W2S shoppers purchased an average five products, spending a median $400, at local stores after conducting research online in the fourth quarter. W2S shoppers purchased three products online for a median of $250 during the same period.
- W2S shoppers spent an additional $200 on products they did not research online.
- W2S shoppers rely on the Internet nearly twice as much for local purchasing information compared to traditional shopping media, such as newspaper advertisements and inserts; local TV and radio ads; and other media.
According to data gathered for the report,‘Communications Infrastructure: The Backbone of Digital,’ 88% of IT professionals and 61% of marketers ranked their company’s current communication infrastructure as 'cutting-edge' or 'good.'
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