Updated: May 15, 2019
A recent study published by Bazaarvoice demonstrated that in-store shopping behavior is significantly influenced by online research. The report, The ROBO Economy (Research Online Buy Offline), showed that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store and 45% read reviews before making a purchase.
The ROBO scores varies by category with automotive, wearable tech, health and beauty, electronics, tools and hardware, and toys and games leading the way with over 50% of all offline purchases preceded by reading an online review.
Consumer behavior is evolving and online research is becoming more common in many categories. One challenge that retailers have had in fully embracing the importance of online research is the separation of their e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses. Improving a brand’s or retailer’s online product research resources is often part of the company's digital transformation initiative. The ones that are on the front end of digital transformation are people who are looking at ways to take their product and personalize it based on what they know about their customer interests and creating harmony between them.