Want Offline Sales? Place Product Info Online

    January 23, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Brick-and-mortar commerce has a powerful ally in the Internet, as many people research a potential purchase online first before heading to a local business to buy.

Jupiter Research said in its US Online Retail Forecast for 2006-2011 that such offline influence will add up to more than a fistful of dollars. By 2011, analysts anticipate offline-influenced sales will hit $1 trillion, representing 40 percent of the market.

It’s a scenario that could have offline retailers turning to online specialists for help. WebCollage is one of them that many of our readers may not know very well.

Their client roster reads like a Who’s Who of brand names, like Nintendo and Sony, and retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City. WebCollage provides a bridge for product marketing content to a retailer’s website.

That makes using such sites much more useful for the online researcher. With product specifications and features listed in one place, instead of dispersed between websites where consumers would have to track them down, people can more effectively do their research.

Such research can lead to a quick purchase directly from the online retailer. Or in many instances, research provides the visitor with the information needed to make an informed purchase.

With the end of analog TV signals coming in 2009, a lot of people are going to need to know more about digital television options. If any product line looks ripe for online research followed by a quick offline purchase, television is it.

“Online retail sales are maturing and the lion’s share of future growth will primarily come from existing buyers spending more in the online channel,” Patti Freeman Evans, JupiterResearch senior analyst and lead author of the report, said in a statement.

“Assuming growth continues in a similar trajectory over the coming decades, U.S. online retail sales will plateau at 10% to 15% of total U.S. retail sales, barring a dramatic change in the online shopping experience that promotes an inordinate spending shift among buyers.”


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.