It’s arguably the premise of local search, and a comScore study with Yahoo gives some interesting insight to the “search online, buy offline” behavior. They examined five major retailers, including JC Penney, national department and apparel stores, and a major office supplies outlet.
They have some very compelling points regarding these type of consumers being more engaged, and how they spend more incrementally than if they made a purchase online.
The study focuses more on products than services, but the concept can apply to both. If you’re looking for a lawn mower, you might be doing quite a bit of research before you decide on a local dealer. If you’re looking for a quick and easy haircut, you might just be searching online for the nearest location.
As a consumer, there have been countless times when searching online and purchasing offline has benefited myself (and the local businesses I’ve visited because of it) for the same points explained in the comScore/Yahoo study.
Let’s turn this to you. Do you research products or local services online before you purchase offline, and how much do you research beforehand?
Post also up at Search Engine Guide.
A couple notes…
Aaron, aren’t ya’ glad I didn’t make you click? 😉
Rashmi, ya’ happy now? 😉 Posting has been light as of late, but hopefully should change soon.