December 31, 2002, 12:00 AM

Cross-channel shopping supports online holiday sales, study says

While online holiday retail sales this year showed far better increases over last year than did offline sales, cross-channel shopping played a key role in online’s success. 60% of consumers in a ForeSee Results study shopped both online and offline.

While online retail sales showed far better increases over last year than did offline sales in this year’s holiday shopping season, cross-channel shopping played a key role in online’s success, says a study by ForeSee Results.

More than half of consumers, or 60%, in the recent holiday shopping season shopped both online and offline, according to the study, which was based on a survey of 300 consumers. ForeSee noted that 26% of consumers reported doing more than half of their shopping online.

"We often see large numbers of consumers who will research products online and then purchase offline," said ForeSee CEO Larry Freed. But the study, which covered the holiday shopping season up until the week before Christmas, found an unexpectedly high number of shoppers who researched offline and then purchased online, he added.

"A surprisingly large number of consumers, 30%, reported that they were very likely to conduct research offline and then purchase online," Freed said. "But among the 59% that said they were highly satisfied with their online shopping experience, 37% said they conducted research offline before purchasing online. We see that the web provides both an excellent research tool and commerce tool as part of a multi-channel strategy."

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