Info Spurs Offline Spending
now generates nearly twice as much offline as it does online. Impact
even more dramatic when financial, insurance products factored in.
Online product research by consumers this past year
was responsible for driving $180.7 billion in offline spending,
compared to $106.5 billion in direct online consumer spending, according
to The American Interactive Consumer Survey conducted by The Dieringer
"The new annual spending data indicate that
at least $1.70 is spent offline after doing online research for
every consumer dollar spent directly online,” according to
Dieringer senior consultant, Thomas E. Miller. In reality, the offline
spending impact is far greater because many consumers also go online
to research financial and insurance products that are not reflected
in the retail spending total."
According to the new research, nearly 15% of total
U.S. retail spending (excluding gasoline, food services and inventories)
is currently influenced altogether by the Internet, a much higher
ratio than is commonly cited.
The study also found that Internet-influenced offline
spending is now growing faster than direct online spending. Internet-influenced
offline sales grew 31% last year and direct online sales grew 14%,
while total U.S. retail spending grew only 5% during the comparable
"The data confirm that the Internet's role
as a consumer product information utility is much larger than its
role as a direct selling medium," Miller explained.
Internet Influenced Spending
US Consumers 2002-2004 (billion dollars)
Research Group, October 2004
The survey also
found that 17% of all U.S. consumers who opened new financial service
accounts or took out new insurance policies the past year used the
Internet in their product decision-making process. "Those decisions
by online consumers affected literally billions of dollars in financial
services revenues, making the total dollar impact of online information
far greater than anyone is talking about," concluded Miller.
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