Online and Offline Marketing Are Merging

According to New Media and Marketing.com, an online survey of 1,500 holiday consumers conducted by market research organization Ipsos OTX and Google conducted show that that online and offline shopping are merging into a new consumer buying process.  According to the study,

  • 51% of surveyed consumers intend to research a product online and visit the store to buy it.
  • 32% plan on researching an item online, inspecting it in the store, and then completing the transaction online.

The study attributes this largely to the comfort consumers now have about buying online, including the convenience of shipping and not being greater faith in credit card information security, and the desire to make a more educated purchase. Increasingly, rather than go to the store to get educated, they want to go to the store already educated.

The Growing Role of Social Media

The study finds that consumers are seeking recommendations, but social media adds a personal touch to support a buying decision:

  • 24% of consumers will turn to social media for their holiday shopping this year.
  • Only 11% will rely on blogs or message boards. Although both sets of

It Depends on the Product

This doesn’t apply for all products, including everyday groceries and impulse items, where few consumers would bother to do extensive research.  The rule of thumb:

  • The higher the cost of the product the more time online or the more the product requires a change to behavior the more time they will spend researching it online.

Companies like Target do merchandising well, and should continue focusing there. However, for products like those offered by Apple, the web presence is integral, and Apple’s website is ranked one of the top eCommerce sites within the US.

This infographic from Infoys shows  the strength of offline marketing and how an offline strategy can run in conjunction with an organization’s online marketing efforts:

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