The web’s role is becoming integral for brick-and-mortar retailers, even for in-store purchases, according to (pdf) a recent Nielsen Online survey, which found that among those who had recently made consumer electronics purchases in a store, 80% did so after first visiting the store’s website.
Moreover, 53% purchased from the retailer on whose website they had spent the most time, Nielsen said.
Among consumer electronics purchasers, 58% indicated that if they had only one channel in which to do product research prior to purchase, they would choose the internet, compared with only 25% that would choose to be able to do research in a physical store:
Even in product categories that involve less research before purchase, the web plays an important part in the information gathering process, Nielsen’s survey found.
For example, some 44% of pet food consumers went online to learn more about the product. Safety was top of mind for these consumers, who were most interested in nutritional specifications, product ingredients and recall information in their online research:
“Surprisingly enough, the industry that retailers should look to for guidance on multichannel integration is the media industry, which has embraced the notion of content portability, allowing their consumers to easily consume content wherever they are with whatever device they prefer,” said Ken Cassar, VP, industry insights, Nielsen Online. “Retailers that are able to facilitate consumers’ multichannel shopping behaviors will enjoy growth in market share across the enterprise.”
(Cassar will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, July 23: “Pinpointing the Value of Multi-Channel Behavior.”)