SOURCE: The Nielsen Company

July 22, 2008 10:00 ET

Internet Strategy Essential to Offline Retail, According to Nielsen Online

Eighty Percent of Consumer Electronics Purchasers Bought at a Store Whose Web Site They Visited First

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - July 22, 2008) - According to Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, the Web plays an increasingly integral role in retail for brick and mortar retailers, even among purchases that occur in-store. A Nielsen survey in May 2008 found that among a representative group of people who had recently made consumer electronics purchases in a brick and mortar store, 80 percent bought from a store whose Web site they visited first. Further, 53 percent purchased from the retailer on whose Web site they had spent the most time.

While the benefits of online sales have long been apparent to retailers, the ability of the Internet to drive offline sales is now rising to the fore. Among consumer electronics purchasers, 58 percent indicated that if they had only one channel in which to do product research prior to purchase, they would choose the Internet, compared with only 25 percent that would choose to be able to do research in a brick and mortar store.

"A strong Web presence with broad and deep online content is critical for all retailers, including brick and mortar stores," said Ken Cassar, vice president, industry insights, Nielsen Online. "Surprisingly enough, the industry that retailers should look to for guidance on multi-channel integration is the media industry, which has embraced the notion of content portability, allowing their consumers to easily consume content wherever they are with whatever device they prefer. Retailers that are able to facilitate consumers' multi-channel shopping behaviors will enjoy growth in market share across the enterprise."

Respondents were asked: If you were only able to use one source of information to support your next consumer electronics purchase, which would you choose?


Table 1: Information Sources ranked by Preference among Consumers
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Preferred Information Source                   Percent of Consumers
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Internet                                                                 58
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Visit to local stores                                                    25
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Reviews in newspapers/magazines                                           8
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Friends and family                                                        8
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Other                                                                     1
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Source: Nielsen Online

Low Consideration Categories

Even in product categories that involve less research before purchase, the Web plays an important part in the information gathering process. Nielsen's survey showed that 44 percent of pet food consumers went online to learn more about the product. Safety was top of mind for these consumers, who were most interested in nutritional specifications, product ingredients and recall information in their online research (see Table 2).

Table 2: Top 5 Topics among Consumers Researching Pet Food Online
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Topic                                          Percent of Consumers
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Learn about nutritional specifications                                   48
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Learn about product ingredients                                          45
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Learn about recalls                                                      45
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Learn more about safety issues                                           40
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Find sales/promotions                                                    40
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Source: Nielsen Online

Webinar, July 23rd: Pinpointing the Value of Multi-Channel Behavior

Please sign up here (http://www.netratings.com/resources.jsp?section=event&nav=2#) to join Ken Cassar in a Webinar discussing the complex relationship between online activity and offline retail on July 23rd. Learn more about how the field of retail is evolving in an increasingly digital age.

About Nielsen Online:

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-online.com. Also, visit our blog at www.nielsen-online.com/blog.

About The Nielsen Company:

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit, www.nielsen.com.

Editor's Note: Please source all data to Nielsen Online.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Suzy Bausch
    (415) 617-0181

    Michelle McGiboney
    (408) 941-2930
    pr.us@nielsen.com