Online reviews influence more in-store purchases

Welcome to the ROBO economy, where shoppers increasingly research online and buy offline: 39 percent of consumers who made purchases in-store read online reviews prior to buying, and in some categories spend more in stores than if they had bought the item online.

Close to 39 percent of in-store shoppers said they researched products online before buying from a physical location, according to a new study from Bazaarvoice. This is a decline from an earlier report from Bazaarvoice which revealed nearly half of shoppers researched before buying.

                  Click to view the full Bazaarvoice infographic

That behavior increases when making bigger ticket purchases: 45 to 55 percent of in-store buyers read reviews for big-ticket technology items. Approximately 58 percent of shoppers research online before making an appliance purchase, 54 percent research electronics, and 44 percent look for information on toys and games.

Men's apparel skewed high as well, with 49 percent of shoppers seeking online help to make purchases in this category.

Shoppers are looking for online input in the fitness tracker category in large numbers. Roughly 64 percent who make in-store purchases read reviews before buying, compared to 71 percent of online buyers.

Offline research influences more than a single purchase. Bazaarvoice found that for every dollar of online revenue influenced by review content, reviews influence $4.29 of in-store revenue in the flat-panel TV category, $5.07 for the sale of an Xbox One, and $5.21 with the purchase of a DSLR camera.
"Seeking out the opinions of like-minded consumers has been a central component of an informed purchase journey for decades, but as a percentage of shopping has moved away from the physical store, many brands have focused their efforts on the online researcher," said David Moon, VP of strategic consulting and global pre-sales at Bazaarvoice. "We are bringing additional credence to the notion that online consumer-generated content greatly influences the in-store shopper, and has a significant impact on in-store revenue."

Clearly the notion of showrooming—where shoppers research products while in stores and buy elsewhere online for a lower price—is receding as a consumer behavior.

For more:
-See this Bazaarvoice report

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