Those Who ‘Pre-Shop’ on Web Spend More In-Store

Consumers exposed to online advertising tend to research or “pre-shop” online prior to purchase, and this behavior ultimately leads to increased in-store sales, according to research from Yahoo! and comScore, Inc. These “pre-shoppers” spend an average of 41 percent more in-store when compared to consumers not exposed to online advertising.

“Although recent research cites 89 percent of consumers shop for information about products online, less than 7 percent of retail sales actually take place online,” saidAmy Vener, senior director of Retail Category at Yahoo! “This means retailers have a prime opportunity to engage this audience of ‘pre-shoppers’ through online advertising to capture incremental sales in-store.”

The study examined the impact of search and display advertising on in-store sales for five major retailers. Insights include:

* Consumers exposed to online display and/or search advertising viewed an average of six more pages during the period in which they were researching compared to those not exposed to advertising.

* Almost 90 percent of the incremental sales generated by online advertising take place in-store:

* Consumers exposed to online advertising spent an incremental six dollars in-store for every one dollar spent online.

* Combined search and display advertising campaigns resulted in deeper engagement for consumers exposed to those ads, leading to increased sales.

The study involved a sample of more than 175,000 comScore panelists and compared the purchasing behavior of those exposed to online advertising with the behavior of those who were not exposed, but who were otherwise behaviorally and demographically identical. In-store purchases were tracked at five major retail stores representing diverse segments. The goal was to examine the lift of in-store purchases of those exposed to online advertising compared to those not exposed in order to understand the incremental impact that online ad exposure has on offline sales.