Take It Away

Multichannel shoppers are an evolving breed, changing right along with the technology on which they must rely, and frequently presenting behavioral surprises to analysts. New data from Cambridge, MA-based Forrester Research offers an interesting example of one such multichannel shopper niche group: customers who buy products online, then pick them up in a store.

Forrester says that only 11% of all consumers currently use such a service, not a sizable number. But analysts also point out that that number is artificially low because so few retailers actually offer this service.

In fact, mining the data yields some insights that suggest this particular group may be worth serious attention from retailers. For one thing, this category is composed of greater “technology optimists” than the larger pool of regular online consumers — 73% claim that title. Up to 40% of consumers who shop with those retailers that do offer a buy-online, in-store pickup option take advantage of the service, and that group spends 44% more online than average consumers.

The most frequent reason online shoppers gave for using an in-store pickup service is to avoid shipping costs (61%), but 47% of the Forrester sample also said that they regularly research goods online and buy them offline. Almost half of this group, 40%, went to the store to pick up their purchases because it wasn’t too far out of their way, and 38% admitted that they were just plain impatient to receive their purchases.

In-Store Pickup Users Spend More

U.S. Online Consumers In-store Pickup Users
Average age 45 42
Average household income (US$) $60,803 $69,523
Female 51% 53%
Average household size 2.64 2.76
Have broadband at home* 31% 42%
Purchased goods online in the past three months 50% 75%
Average online spending in th past three months (US$) $309 $445
Online tenure (years) 5.2 6.2
Technology optimists 60% 73%
Source: Forrester Research Inc. Consumer Technographics® Q4 2003 North American Study
* Base: US online households

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