SOURCE: CMO Council

October 19, 2005 09:28 ET

Internet's Influence on In-Store Purchasing Behavior Is Rising, According to CMO Council/Yahoo! Survey

Consumer Trust and Confidence in Product Information on the Web Approaches That of Friends and Family Recommendations

PALO ALTO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 19, 2005 -- A new study that explores the impact of the Internet on in-store purchasing reveals a shifting landscape of media influence on consumers: The Web's power in shaping in-store sales is growing rapidly.

The CMO Council's Summer RetailFluency Report shows that more than half of the 322 post-purchase shoppers polled consulted the Internet before purchasing at an offline location. Half of this group reported spending 1-3 hours conducting their online research.

The exit poll, commissioned by Yahoo! and fielded in partnership with The ConsumerEdge Research Group, polled retail shoppers exiting BestBuy, CompUSA and Circuit City stores during Dads and Grads season in 2005. Shoppers were asked about the products they purchased, how their purchase was influenced by various information sources, how much time they spent researching their purchase on the Web, and whether or not their purchase decision was changed after they entered the store. The full RetailFluency report can be downloaded at: http://www.cmocouncil.org/Reports_Password_Protected/BITPIPE/RetailFluency.pdf

The study suggests that Internet research helps solidify brand awareness, increases product influence, and can drive in-store traffic. As a source of influence, brand reputation appears prominently in the mix for Internet researchers, while much less so for those who don't research on Web before they enter the store. This suggests that Web research could reduce the chance of users being swayed to a different brand by in-store selling techniques.

Among the Key Findings:

--  In-store sales associates (49 percent), in-store demonstrations (36
    percent), family and friends (33 percent), newspapers (25 percent) and the
    Internet (21 percent) were the top five most influential information
    sources. Magazines, TV and radio were at the bottom of list, all with less
    than 5 percent.
    
--  Further analysis shows that newspapers -- the only traditional media
    channel figuring prominently in driving buyer behavior -- exert influence
    primarily via coupon offers, retail location listings and editorial
    reviews.
    
--  Of those purchasers who researched first on the Web, the top online
    influencers were the product/company Web site (47 percent), search listings
    (41 percent) and retail store sites (39 percent).
    
--  Differences between heavy (one to three hours usage) and light (one
    hour or less) Internet users show that heavy Web users utilize more third-
    party online resources, such as chat, blogs and user sites. Banner ads also
    showed relatively high influence among heavy Web users.
    
"It's clear from this study that while in-store activities have the most influence in buying decisions, the Internet has a significant impact on building brand awareness and pre-purchase intent," said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council.

"This data clearly highlights the Internet as a key tool for raising brand awareness and improving product knowledge," said Elizabeth Harz, category development officer for technology at Yahoo!. "Marketers who understand this and take advantage of sites like Yahoo! that offer product reviews, comparisons and third-party validation will be in a position to influence a valuable set of customers who are ready to buy."

About the CMO Council

The CMO Council is an influential global affinity group dedicated to high- level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers. More than 1,500 technology companies are represented on the CMO Council, controlling more than $45 billion in annual marketing expenditures. For more information, please visit our web site at www.cmocouncil.org.

The CMO Council convenes under the auspices and administration of GlobalFluency, a Silicon Valley-based marketing and public relations network comprising 114 offices, 650 professionals and 41 agency partners in 72 countries. More information is available at www.globalfluency.com.

About Yahoo!

Yahoo! Inc. is a leading provider of comprehensive online products and services to consumers and businesses worldwide. Yahoo! is the No. 1 Internet brand globally and the most trafficked Internet destination worldwide. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Yahoo!'s global network includes 25 world properties and is available in 13 languages. www.yahoo.com

About The ConsumerEdge Research Group

The ConsumerEdge is a partnership formed by ChannelForce and NewEdge to create a resource in the industry with the ability to gain strategic insight from customers at the point-of-purchase in over 5,000 consumer electronics retail stores in over 80 markets, and for every consumer electronics product. For details on each company, visit www.channelforce.com and www.new-edgeinc.com.

Contact Information

  • MEDIA CONTACT:
    Matt Farrell
    CMO Council
    212-213-5400 x217
    Email Contact