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The Influence of Online in Offline

Posted on 8.01.2007

Recently released research from Yahoo! and Comscore shows that exposure to online advertising is changing the way consumers shop offline. The study examined how search and display advertising on in-store sales for five major retailers showed that consumers were "pre-shopping" online before making a purchase offline. According to the report, these consumers spend an average of 41% more in-store when compared to consumers not exposed to online advertising. 

"Although recent research cites 89 percent of consumers shop for information about products online,  less than 7 percent of retail sales actually take place online,” said Amy Vener, Senior Director of Retail Category at Yahoo! “This means retailers have a prime opportunity to engage this audience of ‘pre-shoppers’ through online advertising to capture incremental sales in-store.

Other key insights include:

  • Consumers exposed to display and search advertising viewed an average of six more pages during the period in which they were reaching compared to those not exposed to advertising.
  • Consumers exposed to online advertising spend an incremental six dollars in-store for every one dollar spent online.
  • Combined ad campaigns (search and display advertising) resulted in deeper engagement for consumers exposed to those ads, leading to increased sales.

If you have an offline store with an online presence, it's important to understand how the Web influences offline product sales. Some best practice might include introducing Web coupons for redemption at the brick and mortar stores or maybe enabling consumers to reserve products online for in-store pickup. You can see a lot of larger retailers employing some of these tactics already such as BestBuy and Circuit City. With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the time to start thinking about synergy between online and offline retailing.


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