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Consumers Who Search Electronics Online Spend More Money In Store

New Study from Yahoo! and ChannelForce Examines Buying Habits of Electronics Shoppers

Consumers who search online for televisions and digital cameras spend ten percent more when making their purchase in-store, compared to those who did not use a search engine, according to new research from Yahoo! and ChannelForce, a training and merchandising consulting company. The survey examined how consumers buy electronics offline and found that a vast majority research products online prior to making in-store purchases. In addition to spending more, online research is helping consumers make key purchasing decisions before they enter a store.

The survey was conducted between February and March 2007 via in-person interviews at Best Buy, Circuit City, Fry’s and Target stores. The 1,100 people interviewed included shoppers (people who shopped for products, but did not purchase during the store visit) and purchasers (people who purchased during the store visit). They were asked questions about how much education they had on their desired products when they walked into the store; where and how they researched the products; and the key sources that persuaded them to make a brand decision for purchase.

Key findings include:

  • The Internet is the top resource for researching digital cameras and televisions. Seventy five percent who researched their purchases before visiting a retail location used the Internet as their primary source of information. The leading online resources were retail Web sites (73 percent), manufacturer websites (68 percent) and search engines (49 percent).
  • Consumers who use search engines to research online spend more. This group is a valuable target for marketers looking to influence purchase behavior because not only are they highly engaged, using twice as many sources as non-searchers, but they also end up spending about 10 percent more. Those who search spend an average of $31 more on digital cameras and $46 more on digital camera packages; and an average of $139 more on TVs and $190 on TV packages.
  • The vast majority of those who research have already made key decisions about their purchases before they arrive at the store. More than 80 percent of consumers who research before making a purchase end up buying a brand from their original consideration set. The remaining 20 percent said the in-store sales person was highly influential in their decision.
  • Despite the education on brands, consumers are often unsure about the advanced features of the product. About 75 percent of people did not know the model they wanted when they walked into a retail store.

“This study confirms and quantifies that a more informed consumer is a more valuable consumer,” said David Rubinstein, senior director, technology and telecommunications category, Yahoo! Search Marketing. “Manufacturers have a huge opportunity here — even if they don’t sell products online, their online efforts are impacting what people are buying in stores.”

“We’ve known that the brand experience begins well before the shopper walks into the store, and this study confirms how critical the in-store experience is to the consumer’s decision and the opportunity for the sales staff to educate, support and upsell,” said Kurt Higgins, president, ChannelForce. “Manufacturers and retailers should consider this information not only for marketing, but also for continuously educating and evangelizing the store personnel.”

Yahoo! and ChannelForce will host a live web seminar on June 29, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. ET to present the full research findings. The seminar will be led by David Rubinstein, senior director, technology and telecommunications category for Yahoo! Search Marketing and Kurt Higgins, president of ChannelForce.

Registration for the Web seminar is free and is accessible at the following link:

About Yahoo!
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo!’s mission is to connect people to their passions, their communities and world’s knowledge. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

About ChannelForce, Inc.
ChannelForce is a sales, training and marketing firm dedicated to designing and implementing custom programs that increase mind and market share for its clients. We partner with technology, consumer electronics and telecom companies to deliver a consistent consumer experience through retail, value-add and direct channels. Since 1993, ChannelForce has helped over 100 clients by creating strategies, tools and relationships that have an immediate and positive impact on the bottom-line. To learn more, visit

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