January 14, 2003, 12:00 AM

Cross-channel effort driving traffic for top retail brands, survey finds

Coach.com visitors are 27 times more likely to visit Coach stores; JCrew.com visitors are 10 times more likely to visit a store and 13 times more likely to shop the catalog.

Retail web sites are becoming a significant driver of traffic to stores and catalogs, according to findings released by Nielsen/NetRatings this week. “As retailers plan for 2003, the successful integration of the Internet into a retailer’s sale strategy will play a pivotal role in helping many underachieving merchants drive higher revenues,” says Patrick Thomas, senior Internet analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings.

Coach’s web site leads the way in web site/store integration, with the data showing that consumers who logged onto Coach.com are 27 times more likely to visit a Coach store than the average Internet user. Visitors to NeimanMarcus.com are 18 times more likely to visit one of the retailer’s stores, while visitors to JCrew.com are 10 times more likely to visit a J. Crew store. Bloomingdales.com surfers are 10 times more likely to go to a Bloomingdale’s store, while visitors to Williams-Sonoma.com are nine times more likely to go to a Williams-Sonoma store.

Home and apparel retailers have become particularly successful at integrating their online and catalog channels, according to the data. J. Crew again ranked high, leading the way in Internet/catalog integration. Surfers at JCrew.com are 13 times more likely to use the store’s catalog than the average Internet user. Site traffic at Williams-Sonoma.com is turning into catalog use, with site visitors 12 times more likely to use the catalog than the average Internet user.

Nordstrom.com visitors are 11 times more likely to shop from a Nordstrom’s catalog, while PotteryBarn.com visitors were 11 times more likely and nine times more likely, respectively, to use the brands’ catalogs.

“Many of today’s established traditional retailers continue to allow stores, catalogs and Internet sites operate independently, missing out on the benefits derived through maximization of their multi-channel initiatives,” says Thomas.

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