RealTime IT News

Study: Internet Affected $7.5 Billion in '97 Consumer Sales

Data from the soon to be released Consumer Online Commerce Report from Cyber Dialogue/FindSVP indicates that the Internet influenced $7.5 billion in online and offline sales last year.

In fact, online shopping is beginning to measurably displace, replace or otherwise fundamentally change traditional consumer shopping behavior.

The study showed that more consumers used the Internet to find information for purchases made offline than online in 1997. The new study, scheduled for publication later this month, concludes that $4.2 billion in offline consumer goods and service sales were influenced by online information last year, versus $3.3 billion in online sales.

"The reach of the Internet far surpasses the current level of sales taking place directly online," said Peter Clemente, Cyber Dialogue vice president and co-author of the report. "More than half of all consumers who retrieve online product information say they're placing orders by phone or going to local stores. The Internet is becoming an integral part of the purchasing process whether the purchase is made online or offline."

The most recent survey findings show that two-thirds of all online consumer purchases were made during visits to Web sites navigated directly from search engines or using URLs found in offline sources. Less than a third of online purchases resulted from clicking on banner ads.

"This finding shows that consumers tend to use the Internet more like an electronic yellow pages than like an online direct marketing response medium," said Thomas E. Miller, Cyber Dialogue vice president and study co-author.

The Consumer Online Commerce Report utilizes data from random-digit dialed telephone surveys of U.S. adult Internet users and non-users. Since 1995, surveys have included questions on online shopping habits and intentions.

The Consumer Online Commerce Report is priced at $1,995 and is available from Cyber Dialogue by calling 888-421-6655, ext. 116.