Online purchases grew again in 2008, but retail sales were flat and call center sales declined, according to Epsilon Targeting, a recently formed data division of Epsilon. These were among the findings in its Annual Multichannel Trend Report, which is based on aggregated merchandise purchase data from the Abacus Cooperative database.
Online sales have grown by 30% in the last four years, with 8% growth in 2008 compared to 2007, according to the study.
The research also found that, compared to exclusive retail buyers, multichannel buyers were more active and spent twice as much per household during that period.
“Marketers need to understand how to integrate their channels and come up with a contact strategy to drive [customers] to the Web, to retail and to call centers,” said Stacey Hawes, SVP of account management and business development at Abacus. “As the online purchase channel continues to grow, you can’t just have a strategy around a single channel. Marketers need to figure out how to leverage online in the best way, but they still need direct mail to drive Web traffic, while e-mail is preferable for repeat purchase.”