Consumers Turning to the Internet in This Challenging Economy

Consumers are expecting their overall spending to decrease this 2008 but it will be more so offline than online, a survey commissioned by LinkShare revealed.

The study, conducted by JupiterResearch, said that online retailers can adjust to the weakening economy by focusing on deepening relationships with existing customers, as they are vulnerable to promotional influences, and also engaging those consumers who tend to influence the purchases of others.

The survey distinguished two key segments of buyers. The Influencers, who are considered a key shopper segment because they influence their friends in purchase decisions, spend more money online than the average consumer and plan to increase their annual online spending (on average) as compared to all online shoppers.

The other key segment is the engaged shopper, a group that comprises 50% of online shoppers. While this group claims they will stick with their current brands and stores, 50% are still willing to experiment with new retailers in order to get the best price on a product.

Overall, the survey revealed the following about online shoppers in the US:

  • On average, online consumers are predicting their offline spending will drop more than online spending. Offline spending is predicted to drop 6.3% versus a smaller drop of 4.2% online.
  • Most online consumers (81%) believe they are facing an economic recession.
  • 56% of influencers plan to do more product and pricing research online to ensure the best price as a result of struggling economy.
  • (It’s odd that only 81 percent believe that they are facing economic recession)