According to the Abacus 2006 Multichannel Trend Report, the majority of direct sales captured in 2005 continued to take place via traditional “mail order” (phone/mail/fax), with 51% of households ordering through traditional channels.
But household purchases from the mail order channel were down 5% from 2004. Not surprisingly, the proportion of dollars and transactions generated via the Web continues to grow steadily, at 19% for dollars and 17% for number of transactions.
“With the continued shift in the channels, it has become increasingly difficult for a marketer to understand which marketing efforts drive purchases and how to allocate marketing dollars across channels. Now more than ever, it is important for marketers to have a better understanding of a consumer’s path to purchase,” says Bob Fetter, senior vice president of data management services for Abacus.
“In which cases did the catalog prompt an online purchase? Did the consumer search online before purchasing at a retail location?” asks Fetter. “In order to answer these questions – and many more – marketers should consider a marketing database that analyzes the path each customer takes toward a purchase. Understanding this type of buyer behavior will undoubtedly improve a marketer’s ability to formulate contact strategies and allocate marketing investments appropriately.”