Born Again

Can it really be only five years since online consumers were first identified? Forrester Research Inc. claims first to have defined this creature in a 1998 Consumer Technographics study, and now Forrester has proclaimed that, as of 2003, the online consumer is dead. Perhaps more accurately stated, the online consumer has matured and become the “multichannel consumer,” who, according to a new Forrester brief titled “The Changing Consumer,” is more complex, more numerous, more mainstream, less male, and far less likely than her predecessors to put up with a business whose services are limited to one measly channel. The Forrester brief suggests that to woo this new, powerful category of consumer, retailers must “build a multichannel experience” that connects marketing, merchandising, and back-end systems for all catalog, retail, and e-commerce operations. For more details, visit www.forrester.com.

Multichannel Shoppers Embrace Net

1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Bank online N/A 6% 18% 27% 32% 35%
Buy online 22% 27% 50% 49% 51% 51%
Mean no. of product categories bought online 1.9 3.2 4.4 6.6 7.5 8.1
Source: Forrester Research Inc.
Note: Base = U.S. online households

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