E-commerce websites are having a knock-on effect on offline sales, according to research.
One third of computer and consumer electronics shoppers who click through from a manufacturer's to a dealer's website, using 'buy it now' or 'find it now' buttons, go on to buy within a week.
They may buy online, from a catalogue or in a store within one week of following the link, according to a poll of 4,000 internet users commissioned by e-business company Channel Intelligence.
It found that 34.3 per cent of surfers made a purchase within one week of following the initial web link, while 22.8 per cent of respondents indicated that they planned to buy the product within 30 days of the first visit.
The research was conducted in March 2003 among visitors to manufacturer websites for 3Com, Altec Lansing, BenQ, Exabyte, Iomega, Lexmark, Monster Cable, Netgear, Proxim, Sharp Electronics and Tripp Lite, among others.
Survey respondents were shopping for products that averaged $407 in price, although the actual value of purchases averaged $262.
Of the group that purchased within one week, more than 45 per cent said that they bought additional products that increased the value of the sale by $125 to $150 on average.
At the same time, less than one per cent purchased direct from the manufacturer, indicating an overwhelming preference for buying through the channel.
Alan Fulmer, president of Channel Intelligence, said: "Where once online and offline were broken into separate territories, with separate goals and reporting structures, more organisations are starting to look at the bigger picture.
"As long as they make the sale, they're less concerned about where the sale started and where it was fulfilled."
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