Survey: Nearly One-Fourth of Web Sales Incremental

According to a recent survey of cataloger/retailers, the Internet is bringing in its fair share of incremental revenue. A mean 23% of their Web sales would not have been obtained via other channels, according to respondents to the DMA State of the Catalog/Interactive Industry study, conducted by the Direct Market Association and CATALOG AGE. In other words, if the company didn’t have a Website, it would not have reaped that revenue at all. The respondents also estimated that a mean 37.3% of the Web sales shifted from the mail or phone channels.

Among consumer marketers, a mean 27.3% of their Web sales were believed to be incremental, compared with 42.1% for business-to-business marketers and 28.3% for hybrid marketers (those that market equally to consumers and businesses.

Among the promotions tested on their Websites, 46.1% had tested free shipping and handling. That included 56.3% of the consumer respondents but only 16.7% of the b-to-b marketers surveyed. One-fifth of responded had tested liquidation programs on their Website. But while 31.3% of the consumer respondents had tested liquidation programs online, none of the b-to-b marketers surveyed had.

Among other offers tested, 25.8% offered discounts on a first offer; the same percentage offered coupons or discounts on future purchases. Nearly 17% had tested reduced shipping and handling; likewise, the same percentage had tested upgraded S&H. Nearly 42% of business marketers, however, had not tested any special promotions on their Website.