Our online behaviors certainly influence the retail buying cycle. According to a recent National Retail Federation study, a whopping 93% of respondents spend time online first, including 35% who regularly research and another 58% who occasionally research online before buying in person.
What's surprising is that online media aren't the most important influences in triggering an online shopping search. Well over 40% of respondents individually identified TV, magazines and newspapers as the most important triggers. By contrast, just 28% mentioned e-mail ads and only 25% claimed internet ads of any kind!
Other online communications aren't significant influences either. Only 7% of respondents mention blogs, 9% IM, and 8% online communities as triggers to search online. These sources increase slightly among 18-24 year olds, up to 14% blogs, 22% IM and 21% communities.
After respondents finish searching, communications become more personal. About 69% speak to someone face-to-face. Another 53% send emails, 50% pick up their land-lines and 30% make cell calls.
Once again, online interactions fall short. Just 4% blog, 15% IM and 7% participate in communities. Here you see a pick-up among 18-24 year olds, as 9% blog, 38% IM and 21% use communities. Also some 24% of this age group sends text messages.
So while search dominates the retail discussion, everything else we're doing online hasn't made that kind of singular impact among shoppers yet.
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates available through Sept 12. Register today!