December 4, 2013, 12:35 PM

What a tangled web we weave with the Internet and stores

A new survey shows how consumers mix web research and in-store shopping.

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There’s no question the Internet plays a role in shopping decisions, and results from a recent Harris Poll show just how much.

Nearly half, or 46%, of surveyed consumers say they’ve checked out a product in a bricks-and-mortar store but then bought the same item online, and 69% have done the reverse, researching a product online and then buying it in a store.

And consumers who’ve done either are more likely to do both, the survey finds. 88% of consumers who’ve looked at a product in a store and then bought it online have also looked at a product online and then bought in a store. 59% of consumers who’ve researched online and bought in store have also looked at a product in a store and bought it online.

Consumers who go online to buy after seeing a product in store like to use Walmart (24%), Best Buy (21%) and Target (9%) stores as showrooms, and then visit Amazon.com most often to buy online (59%). Amazon.com is also where 48% of people who browse online but ultimately buy in a retail store start their journey, the survey says. Then they go to Walmart (26%), Best Buy (11%) and Target (11%) stores to make in-person purchases.

Harris Interactive polled 2,250 online U.S. adults for the survey in mid-November. Amazon.com Inc. is No 1 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Walmart is No. 4, Best Buy is No. 10 and Target is No. 18.

 

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