2 The Internet is used at every stage of the research process from the initial scan to the more detailed comparison and final check before purchase.

3 Consumers are more informed from a multiplicity of sources; price is not exclusively the primary driver.

4 Online information and experience (and modified brand opinions) also translate into offline purchase.

There is also a wide variation in influence according to type of product, so it is important to assess the role of the web in supporting buying decisions for a particular market. Understanding the potential reach of a web site and its role in influencing purchase is clearly important in setting e-marketing budgets. A different perspective on this is indicated by Figure 2.17 which shows the proportion of people who purchase offline after online research.


Garden/DIY products Home furnishings Mobile phones Large home appliances Consumer electronics PC/Computer hardware Small home appliances Clothing/accessories Health and beauty products Computer games Financial products or services Food/groceries

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 % (by category) who bought offline after research online

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