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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 02, 2010

Multi-channel habits of London, New York shoppers compared

A new study looks at the shopping habits of store-goers in two of the world's major shopping destinations to discover what role the Internet played in their offline experience. The results show just how drastically consumers have changed their behavior over the last few years.

by Helen Leggatt

In June this year, shoppers in London were intercepted while leaving a variety of well-known stores including Primark, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams. They were questioned about their online and offline shopping behavior.

A similar study had already been carried out in New York and the results were compared.

In both London and New York almost half of shoppers left the store having made no purchase. In both cities a quarter of those who had made no purchase intended to continue shopping online until their desired product had been found.

However, when it came to using the Internet to prepare for a shopping trip, the American shoppers were way out in front. The survey, conducted in June by Hall & Partners on behalf of RichRelevance and retail consultancy Envirosell, found a whopping 85% had already checked out prices on the Internet before heading to the store. Meanwhile, just one third of British shoppers had done so.

British retailers should pay attention to this shift in behavior in the U.S. as it is the future of retail in the U.K.

"In the 20th century, marketers and merchandisers determined what the consumer would buy," said Paco Underhill, founder and CEO of research consultancy Envirosell.

"The growth of the Internet has meant that the consumer is now not only more empowered, but often three or four steps ahead."

Tags: in-store, Internet, multi-channel retail, online shopping

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