Books, travel/vacations, music CDs and non-children's computer software are the top consumer purchases on the Web, according to a new study of consumer online buying patterns and behavior by Elrick & Lavidge Marketing Research, a division of Aegis Communications Group. The company's ongoing "Re-tailing: Changing the Shopping Channel" study examined consumer behavior in 20 different categories of goods sold on the Internet, finding books, travel, music, software and computers account for more than half the merchandise purchased online. Sites for durable goods, such as cars, home remodeling/decorating and computer hardware, while often visited, are intentionally used by most consumers to gather information for later offline purchases. Online browsing, the study found, leads to an offline purchase 61% of the time, and 35% of those who do purchase offline buy from the traditional channel (store, catalog, toll-free number) of the site they browsed for information.
Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.