Commerce 3.0: research online, buy in-store

Excerpted from Jones Lang LaSalle Retail Research: Digital Dynamics

With rising gas prices – many consumers are buying more products online, as a way to get low prices and save gas – especially when shipping costs are low.

But, the trend toward consumers researching products online, reading reviews and searching for the best deals locally, is growing.

The attractiveness of this practice lies in consumers’ desire for immediate gratification as well as the ability to save on shipping costs by buying local.

Researchers estimate that this trend – aptly called “web-influenced sales” – will generate almost $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales this year and by 2015 will represent approximately 44 percent of total retail sales, or $1.6 trillion.

The most important actions for local retailers are to ensure their products show up online, that the site reflects accurate availability, and that the online and in-store experiences are as seamless as possible.

The rewards are direct – not only do shoppers come in for the researched product, they also stick around to buy other items once in-store.

Forrester Research reported that 45 percent of shoppers interviewed said they bought extra items once in a store, spending, on average, $154 on additional purchases.

Side note: By coincidence, I just had a so-called “cross channel” experience. 

My cable modem died and I didn’t want to wait a couple of days for an online purchase … so, I reluctantly trekked to Best Buy. 

As expected, BB’s prices were a tad high …  but, the salesperson was quickly  authorized to meet Amazon’s online price …  so, my cost adders above Amazon were gas to the store and  Maryland’s 6% sales tax (ouch).

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One Response to “Commerce 3.0: research online, buy in-store”

  1. Bort Says:

    Prof. Homa,

    That’s why I love my iphone! If my internet access is down or if I don’t have access to a laptop, Amazon is still at my fingertips.

    Great article, the dynamics between online research with in store purchase and in store research with online purchase will really shape retailing in the future.

    I used to research televisions online and then purchase at BestBuy. Now I research at BestBuy and purchase on Amazon. Different categories will have different benefits based on features, whether touching the product matters, and whether the product is difficult to ship or get home from the store.

    Lastly, I like shopping and supporting local retailers (small local stores or small chains; not national retailers). I do sometimes wonder how many purchases at local retailers are based on altruism or a personal desire to provide a subsidy to local retail.

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