Survey Reveals Sequence Of Online Research That Drives Retail Shopping

A recent survey from Wanderful Media and Dimensional Research quantifies how consumer shopping experiences are increasingly driven by online experiences. Data about the effect of online shopping platforms on consumer shopping in brick and mortar stores underscores the importance, for retailers, of building rich and enticing online infrastructures around their products. Findings from the study indicated that store websites, online marketplace stores such as Amazon and social media all played significant roles with respect to the research done by consumers within a store.

Getting Consumers Into A Store

Emails, coupons, online advertisements, online store searches and social media all played a role in driving consumers into brick and mortar stores as illustrated below:

Online promotions and marketing of stores outweighed social media recommendations from friends by a factor of more than two.

Devices Used For Consumer Research In Stores

Smartphones represented the dominant platform for consumer research while in stores. Despite the significance of online marketing in getting consumers into stores, consumers continued to research and refine their shopping preferences using online research. In other words, online marketing had an initiatory effect on brick and mortar shopping experiences that consumers subsequently refined and finalized in collaboration with smartphones and tablets once in stores.

While the study powerfully illustrates the significance of the relation between brick and mortar shopping and online shopping and research, it hardly signals the death of the brick and mortar shopping. On one hand, online shopping drives retail shopping but retail shopping, conversely, leads to more targeted online product research and comparison shopping. All this suggests that big data analytics by retailers on online sales should consider the points of origin of online consumer research and strive toward constructing a holistic picture of the trajectory of a consumer’s online product research. Preliminary findings indicate that more focused consumer research happens in stores, on smartphones. The implication here is that retailers should increasingly focus on the richness of their positioning of products in smartphone-powered search platforms in ways that complement the efficacy of their email and online promotions that drive consumers into stores, in the first place.

Complete details of the study can be found here:


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