More than one-third of e-shoppers who are sent from manufacturer web sites to dealer web sites end up completing a purchase, whether online or offline, according to research conducted by Frank Lynn & Associates for Channel Intelligence, Inc.
Although measurement is difficult, it is often assumed that the sale of goods online also has a positive impact on offline sales. The new research from Channel Intelligence seems to provide some substance to that belief.
The research was derived from an online survey of 4,000 computer and consumer electronics shoppers who clicked from a manufacturer's web site to a dealer's web site. More than one-third (34.3%) said that they completed a purchase (either online, from a catalogue, or in a store) within one week of following the link.
Moreover, some 22.8% indicated that they planned to purchase the product within thirty days of their initial visit to the manufacturer's web site.
Evidence at last
"This is the best evidence we've seen of the value of manufacturer-driven sales leads," said Bob Segal, the Frank Lynn & Associates partner who led the research team. "Most manufacturers and dealers have no idea what happens to online leads beyond the 5% - 9% of buyers who make an immediate purchase."
The survey, conducted during March 2003, shows that getting online shoppers to click a 'Buy it now' or 'Find it now' button can have a significant and direct impact on the full range of online and offline sales channels.
Among those surveyed were visitors to manufacturer sites including 3Com, Altec Lansing, BenQ, Exabyte, Iomega, Lexmark, Monster Cable, Netgear, Proxim, Sharp Electronics, Tripp Lite, and others.
The respondents' average final purchase value was US$262 and, of the group that purchased within one week, more than 45% said they also purchased additional products that increased the transaction total by an average of US$125.
Less than 1% said they purchased directly from the manufacturer.
"Multi-channel marketing is a hot area right now," said Channel Intelligence's president, Alan Fulmer. "Where online and offline were once broken into separate territories, with separate goals and reporting structures, more organisations are starting to look at the bigger picture."