January 21, 2005, 12:00 AM

More consumers research online and buy in stores

Among consumers who research products online and then buy in a store, 70% say they did it more in the fourth quarter of last year than in the comparable period in 2003, according to a study commissioned by shopLocal.com.

 

The practice of researching purchases online, then buying at a bricks-and-mortar store continues to gain momentum, according to a study commissioned by shopLocal.com, a provider of local search options for retailers. Among shoppers who hit the Internet before hitting the stores, 70% say they did it more in the fourth quarter of 2004 than during the comparable period the year before, the study says.

In a shopLocal.com report, shoppers who go to the web and then to the store are referred to as web-to-store or W2S shoppers. Among those consumers, 48% say they plan to do more web-to-store shopping this year than last. 34% of them expect to increase their online shopping, the report says.

Web-to-store shoppers say they saved an average of 8.1 hours of shopping time during the last three months by conducting online research before making shopping trips.

The group spends more offline than online, the report says. Web-to-store shoppers spend an average of $1.60 in a store for every dollar they spend on the web, while more affluent members of the category spend $1.98 in stores for every dollar they spend online.

Shoppers in the group typically bought five products and spent a median of $400 in stores after conducting online research during the fourth quarter. Online, they bought three products and spent a median of $250 during the period, the report says.

 

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