E-shoppers turn to catalogues for initial research

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on August 20, 2007

Most British home shoppers (80%) now report browsing through printed catalogues before ordering online, according to research from Experian, which found that the home shopping market is home to a growing number of brands that have integrated their offline catalogue marketing with online sales features.

Experian's poll of over 1,547 British consumers found that seven out of ten have shopped from home in the last 12 months. Of those, 80% found the product they wanted in a catalogue and then went online to place their order. This signals a major new trend in what Experian calls 'flick to click' shopping.

Driving factors
Major factors fuelling the flick to click phenomenon are time-poor, cash-rich consumers using home shopping for convenience (63%) and to get access to high quality goods (37%). The biggest growth, according to analysis of Experian's Club Canvasse database, is in home goods and furnishings, which grew by 509% in the past year and men's fashion, which grew 347% over the same period.

For home shopping brands that want to encourage repeat purchases, follow up telephone calls are a major turn-off for 73% of consumers. Instead, customers would far prefer to receive a monthly or quarterly e-mail (59%) on the brand's latest offers or, alternatively, a monthly or quarterly communication through the post (60%).

Integration becomes essential
According to Mark Peacock, home shopping consultant for Experian Integrated Marketing, the days of brands using an "either/or" communications strategy are truly over, and is has now become vital that companies blend their online and offline capabilities to achieve long-term growth.

"Having worked with many major brands to create 'flick to click' strategies, our experience shows the whole exercise is underpinned by customer data insights, and by being able to determine exactly how and when personal marketing campaigns are targeted at individual customers," concluded Peacock.

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