December 12, 2002, 12:00 AM

The web is breeding multi-channel “hyper-shoppers,” study says

The Internet has created a new generation of more than 13 million Americans who routinely seek information in multiple shopping channels before making a purchase, according to a survey by The Dieringer Research Group.

The Internet has created a new generation of more than 13 million Americans who routinely seek information in multiple shopping channels before making a purchase, according to a survey by The Dieringer Research Group. It notes that these shoppers spent at least $500 online this year and another $500 or more offline.

And in a warning to online shopping portals, the survey indicated that these multi-channel shoppers also gather their product information directly from the web sites of retailers and manufacturers.

Dieringer, which based its findings on a survey of 4,000 U.S. consumers, said these multi-channel shoppers account for 19% of the 72 million Americans who used the Internet in some way for shopping. They average 5 years of online experience, and three out of five are men. They also are better educated and have an average household income of $66,100, compared to the U.S. median household income of $37,600.

Andrew Richardson, senior analyst at Milwaukee-based Dieringer, said consumer products vendors should attempt to reach these shoppers with advertising strategies that combine multiple media in a mixture of paid ads and in-depth online product information.

Dieringer said hyper-shoppers:
--rely on print media to find web sites for products and services;
--use high-speed access;
--watch TV while online;
--go directly to manufacturer sites or retailer sites for information;
--click on ads and make online or offline purchases as a result;
--use the Internet for music, movies and sports content;
--go online for customer service more often than using the telephone.

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