February 4, 2004, 12:00 AM

Multi-channel shopping grows in popularity, new study reports

Multi-channel shoppers represented 65% of all consumers in this past holiday shopping season vs. 56% a year earlier, online marketing company DoubleClick reports in its Multi-Channel Shopping Study - Holiday 2003.

The proportion of consumers who shop in multiple channels grew 16% during the holiday shopping period in 2003, online marketing company DoubleClick Inc. reports in its Multi-Channel Shopping Study - Holiday 2003. Multi-channel shoppers now represent 65% of all consumers vs. 56% a year earlier.

DoubleClick reports that 36% of all shoppers shopped in retail stores and on the Internet, and 24% shopped in retail stores, on the Internet and from catalogs.

Multi-channel shoppers are also bigger spenders. Consumers who shopped in three channels spent $1,000 on average this holiday shopping season. 35% of multi-channel shoppers report spending 33% more than single-channel shoppers, DoubleClick says.

DoubleClick’s study also reports that shipping costs continue to be a turnoff: The number of shoppers who abandoned online shopping carts due to additional costs such as shipping and handling increased from 78% in 2002 to 84% in 2003. The study also reports that the number of people changing their minds about a product during their online shopping experience increased from 19% in 2002 to 32% in 2003. Separate trend research from DoubleClick`s SiteAdvance product reveals that for every dollar sold online this holiday season, over $6 was abandoned in a shopping cart.

Other data from the study:
• The number of shoppers citing poorly designed or confusing shopping carts dropped from 23% in 2002 to 16% in 2003.
• Many consumers appear receptive to “re-marketing,” with 92% of shoppers citing free shipping as the most powerful way to lure them back to a shopping site.
• About one-third of multi-channel shoppers said they would prefer better images and more product detail.
• 57% of respondents browsed in one channel and purchased in another this holiday season. 43% of consumers who browsed on the Internet bought in retail stores, while 19% browsed in catalogs and purchased in stores.16% browsed in a store and bought online.

The 2003 study, directed by Beyond Interactive and conducted by Greenfield Online, is based upon 1,000 respondents who were interviewed online during December 2003 and January 2004.

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