Online vs Offline Shopping

In recent years e-commerce has become a major purchasing channel for a large number of products. We are now experiencing the realm of increased product sectors such as home decoration, fashion, footwear, cosmetics, and furniture being bought online. Online-only stores like Amazon continue to grow, while mobile is increasingly becoming an important medium in winning over new customers from traditional brick and mortar establishments.

At present the shopping landscape is on a level playing field with 45% of consumers are shopping online, while 55% prefer retail locations. Most at home shoppers use the internet as a virtual window shopping tool, researching products and prices before deciding where to buy. However, with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets at their side, this eliminates the online/offline boundaries for consumers and is becoming the predominant way to shop. Given this emerging trend, retail companies are reducing their TV advertising efforts including reducing spending on traditional media, and shifting funds to digital media channels, particularly mobile based promotions. Some businesses and companies are realizing that offline promotions are becoming an increasingly less effective way to connect with customers.

Mobile devices have become an effective way people interact with brands, where 73% of surveyed shoppers use them to search for a product from home, and 42% do it while in a store. Retailers are reaching shoppers throguh smartphones while checking prices in-store and then send them coupons to bridge the gap in prices offered by other stores as a way to keep their sale (65% of surveyed shoppers either put off a purchase or change stores after doing a price check). What’s next? Mobile payments will be another big evolution in the way we purchase products, this will become evident as we move forward in the next few years.

Who are your consumers:

81% of the 18-34 year-old age bracket search online before buying
69% of the 35-59 year-old age bracket search for local business info online before buying

How your consumers tend to shop:

42% Research online and purchase the products online
34% Research online and then purchased the product at the store
21% Research online, research at the store and then purchase later online
12% Research at the store first and then purchase the product online

Where your consumers search first for local businesses:

33% Search Engines
23% Print Yellow Pages
22% Internet Yellow Pages
13% Local Sites
9% Other (i.e. social media sites)

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