Does online drive retail consumer purchases or the opposite?
How people simultaneously use various channels while searching and purchasing products and services becomes a major question should a firm intend to use the Internet as a complementary channel in the purchasing cycle of consumers aside from stores or direct sales channels such as telephone or mail order catalog. In order to understand the multi-channel moving relationship a study of product purchases and patterns was conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings among a representative subsample of the German MegaPanel during summer 2003. The research, conducted through MegaPanel's Online 'Single Source', illustrates the depth of consumer insights provided by custom quantitative surveys matched with measured online behaviour from panels. The study concludes that readership of selected retail brand catalogs can have a strong impact toward using retail brand web domains. The variance of those impacts might differ from various retail brands and product categories. Based on these results recommendations were given to several companies to adapt their Customer Relationship Management strategies in order to improve the effectiveness of their marketing and sales efforts.
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