How online research influences brick and mortar sales

 

Here is an interesting video posted on the google retail advertising blog. Neilsen concluded that Multi-channel/cross-channel spend is higher on average than customers who frequent one channel only, or example - stores.

Here's the google retail blog post - http://googleretail.blogspot.com/2008/12/pinpointing-value-of-multi-channel.html

There is also an interesting interview with the Thomas Harpointer, CEO/Founder of AIS Media posted on youtube, it talks about how the computer now the primary "window shopping device" with consumers using it to find the best deals and then purchase in the store. So it is let your fingers do the walking to find the best deals then choose the best shipping deal or drive off to the nearest store.

This in turn would mean that post event there is a huge opportunity for virtual malls, comparison sites to actually allow the customer to buy and pickup, this would get rid of excess inventory for the retailer in addition to clearing houses and liquidation and also to serve as an outlet assuming that space/storage and opportunity costs for new merchandize is not too much.

ConsumerB - how online researching is influencing and changing the purchase process

There is also a related video that talks about how a dollar spent online influences six spent at stores through influencing factors in the purchase process. I would surmise that all stop shops like Amazon will denude sales from other pure brick and mortar operations. This then means that presenting the information with a community like feel will enable customers to read reviews, post their opinions and as a next step interact! This virtual mall can now even function as a "word of mouth" or "word of hypertext" forum, something which is not a stretch considering how Amazon or Overstock, SmartBargains function are structured. We may even see an community sales model (ala Amway) when a positive recommendation is rewarded with buying points of course, this would be dependant on a successful "closure".

 

additionally:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lcGZcmyW3g

There is a lot of consonance with analyst findings to substantiate the thoughts expressed in the google interview. The advantage of course is that with the information sharing afforded by the web and comparison shopping sites, customer have better information related to price, choice and product reviews which makes them smarter shoppers. By researching online, customers get reviews which are a result of collaborative sharing: advice, warnings, positive recommendations and a purchase which is much more satisfying!

While this information may seem to overburden the customer, the organization of this intelligence is getting better, please see the previous post. All in all the net is effectively becoming the all knowing and impartial salesperson. This part of the customer purchase process is becoming better and the day of the broadcast ad while still maintaining those tenants of Con-B and retention, we may not need to retain brand as the overriding contributor to a purchase decision. Signing that check or sliding that credit card is only the lag action in the buying process, research into the product is the major bulk of the purchasing process.

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