January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Cross-Channel Validation

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

A joint study done by the National Retail Federation, J.C. Williams Group and BizRate.com found that consumers' shopping and buying behavior is significantly influenced by a multi-channel experience and that retailers with a physical store, catalog and/or website experienced increased sales from their customers. The study, called "Channel Surfing: Measuring Multi-Channel Shopping," was sponsored by MSN e-Shop, a leading shopping portal. Among the study's key findings was how merchandise preferences are reinforced in a multi-channel environment. According to the report, 34% of store shoppers looked for or purchased something in-store that they had seen on the retailer's web site. More than half of online shoppers who received the retailers' catalog looked for or bought something online that they had seen in the catalog. The report also established that multi-channel shoppers are more valuable than single channel shoppers. Consumers who visit a retailer's website and then buy from the store spend 33% more on an annual basis in-store compared to the retailer's typical store customers.

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