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).