May 13, 2003, 12:00 AM

Online shoppers increasing trend toward multi-channel buying

More than half of 4,000 consumers who shopped on a manufacturer`s web site went on to buy from the company within a month either online, in a store or through a catalog, a recent study indicates.

More than half of 4,000 consumers who shopped on a manufacturer`s web site went on to buy from the company within a month either online, in a store or through a catalog, a recent study conducted by retail analysis firm Frank Lynn & Associates indicates.

The study, conducted in March at 11 web sites for manufacturers including Sharp Electronics and Lexmark, found that 34% of shoppers said they completed a purchase within a week through one of a manufacturer`s sales channels. Another 22.8% said they planned to purchase a product within 30 days of their initial online visit.

The study was commissioned by Channel Intelligence Inc., which helps manufacturers link their web sites to the sites of their retail dealers.

It also found:
-- Respondents initially shopped online for products that averaged $407, though the actual value of purchases averaged $262
-- Of the shoppers who purchased within one week of browsing a manufacturer`s site, more than 45% said they bought additional products that increased the value of their actual purchase by $125 to $150

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