57% of Apparel Purchases Influenced by Online Activity

online shoppingWith online exclusive coupons and offers like free shipping, e-tailers are firmly establishing their place in retail realm. But is their threat enough to put brick-and-mortar retailers out of business?

According to research by MarketingZeus.com, e-tailers not only account for a growing percentage of apparel purchases, they also account for online-based research for offline purchases. In fact, 57% of offline purchases in 2012 will be influenced by online activity, whether it’s in the form of price comparisons, sale dates or reviews.

What’s interesting is that online sources are even trumping traditional methods of purchase research. Sales circulars have the largest influence for the traditional methods, but they’re only used 31% of the time. Catalogs and magazines are a close second and third, accounting for purchases 28% and 23% of the time, respectively. This is compared to online stores, department store websites and specialty websites that account for purchases 45%, 43% and 42% of the time. Surprisingly, TV rounds out the bottom of the traditional list, accounting for only 20% of purchases.

The study also found that more and more mobile users and using their devices to make online purchases in unexpected places. While 69% use their devices to make purchases at home, 31% use them to make purchases while in a store, 28% make purchases while waiting in line or for an appointment and 27% use them to discreetly make purchases at work.

Although the web is informing more and more on- and offline purchases, many shoppers still rely on good old-fashioned friend and family advice for their online purchases. How many? Check out our full report.