February 17, 2006, 12:00 AM

Using the same content across channels can give retailers an edge

Retailers who use the same content in their stores, catalogs and web sites can gain a competitive edge with the rapidly expanding base of multi-channel consumers, says Tamara Mendelsohn, an analyst with Forrester Research.

 

Retailers who use the same content in their stores, catalogs and web sites can gain a competitive edge with the rapidly expanding base of multi-channel consumers, says Tamara Mendelsohn, an analyst with Forrester Research.

“Consumers are increasingly using multi-channels to make a purchase decision,” she says. Mendelsohn notes that 54% of online consumers research a product online before buying it offline, and 37% research a product in a store environment and then go online to buy it.

Mendelsohn will speak at the Internet Retailer 2006 Conference in June in Chicago on the topic, Putting the "World" in WWW: Strategies for Selling Globally.”

 

Retailers that use different content for each channel make it harder for consumers to find the same product, often creating an unsatisfactory shopping experience that can lead customers to jump to another site, Mendelsohn says.

But by using the same basic content for a catalog and a web site, for example, the retailer makes it easier for the customer to complete a purchase. “Catalogs are a huge driver for online sales,” she says. “If a consumer browses a catalog but then goes online to make the purchase, the ability to quickly find that product they identified through the catalog is very important.”

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