July 21, 2005, 12:00 AM

Multi-channel buyers spend $298 per purchase online, ERA study says

Multi-channel shoppers buying online spent $298 per purchase on average, higher than purchases made via TV, TV infomercial, or radio shopping, according to a new report from the Electronic Retailing Association.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Multi-channel shoppers buying online spent $298 per purchase on average, higher than purchases made via TV, TV infomercial, or radio shopping, according to a new research study on multi-channel retailing from the Electronic Retailing Association, a trade group.

The average purchases on TV shopping and radio totaled $151 and $148, respectively, while TV infomercials had the lowest average cost of $98, with a median cost of $40, according to the ERA study. Online shoppers also experienced the widest range of purchase costs, with many individuals paying as little as $3 and as much as a few thousand for products.

ERA based its 2005 annual research study on data gathered by Ellison Research. Respondents were 18 years or older, had household income of at least $20,000 and purchased a product or service through the radio, 24-hour home shopping network, a television advertisement that required they call an 800 number, or through a web site, e-mail or other online advertising. Ellison surveyed 600 people, including 100 in the radio segment, 100 in the TV shopping segment, 200 in the TV infomercial segment, and 200 in the online segment.

Online shoppers made the most repeat purchases, with an average of 12 purchases in the past year, according to the study. TV shoppers ranked second, with 6.8 purchases; followed by radio, 2.8 purchases; infomercials, 2 purchases; and short-form TV spots, 1.6 purchases annually.

Nine out of 10 online buyers also said that they made multiple visits to the same web site before buying the product, with an average of 3.64 visits.

The study also found that online shoppers had the lowest level of multi-channel diversification, with only 36% having purchased though the other channels. And the online channel also played a major role in purchases made in other channels-72% of those surveyed said they had seen a product first online and then bought it in the store.

Of those surveyed, 20% said they had seen a product on a TV infomercial and then bought it online, 13% had watched a TV shopping program and bought a product online, and 14% had heard a radio infomercial and made an online purchase.

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