Consumers who shop online for digital cameras and TVs spend 10% more on in-store purchases than consumers who do not search online, according to survey sponsored by Yahoo! Search Marketing and conducted by ChannelForce. Shoppers were interviewed when entering big box electronics stores like Best Buy and Circuit City.

Online digital camera shoppers who made their purchases in stores spent an average of $31 more than those who did not use search. Those who shopped for TVs online spent on average of $139 more when they got to the store than those who had not used search.

These results line up with other studies about how online shopping affects offline purchases.

"The Multi-Channel Shopping Transformation Study," conducted in 2006 by the e-tailing group with J.C. Williams Group and StartSampling, measured the pervasiveness of different cross-channel shopping behaviors. The most-trod cross-channel shopping path starting online (i.e., from a Web site, e-mail or an online newspaper circular) was to browse a Web site and then buy in a store (37%).

Cross-Channel Shopping Behavior of US Online Shoppers, 2006 (% of respondents)

eMarketer Senior Analyst Jeffrey Grau said, "Internet-influenced store sales are greater than online sales. And it is also likely that the gap will widen as Internet-influenced sales increase at a faster rate than online sales."

The propensity to research online prior to purchasing in a store is to some degree a function of consumer demographics. Men are much more likely than women to regularly shop this way (44% vs. 27%, respectively). Among age groups, those ages 25 to 34 are the most avid cross-channel shoppers (41%), while those ages 55 to 64 (31%) and 65 and older (23%) demonstrate the least interest. Consumers with annual incomes of at least $50,000 (44%) are more likely to shop in this manner than consumers who have lower incomes (28%).
Demographic Profile of US Consumers Who Research Products Online before Purchasing Them in a Store, by Frequency, November-December 2006 (% of respondents in each group) 

Via eMarketer