January 31, 2008, 12:00 AM

How and where web buyers like to shop

68% of online consumers buy on the web at least once a month, Forrester Research says.

The growing importance of the web as a shopping channel is reflected in studies from the University of Southern California’s Center for the Digital Future and Forrester Research Inc. USC’s Digital Future Project study finds that 67% of online buyers in 2007 said their web purchasing reduced their retail store purchases, up from 65% in 2006. In its study “Retail Channel Surfers Prefer to Buy Offline,” Forrester notes that web buyers spent an average $511 in a recent three-month period in stores compared with $313 online. But it also shows the online channel is far ahead of catalog, phone and TV shopping channels, and it notes that 68% of web buyers purchase online at least once a month compared with 11% for catalogs. Because online buyers are price-sensitive, e-retailers should market to them with targeted promotions, Forrester adds.

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