Shoppers who buy stuff online appear to have done their “research” on what to buy offline. Buried in a report on online shopping,there’s the startling fact that the biggest proportion of Internet shoppers (36%) visit the web site to buy something as a result of having seen the item in a printed catalogue. Furthermore, this report on Internet shopping shows that people visit around four or five web sites looking for their desired item before making a decision.

These are important pieces of information for anyone trying to sell anything online. Firstly, the report confirms that you cannot neglect the offline world. You need to be promoting your products and services in traditional media, as well as online. Having a strategy for search engine optimisation, or spending hours on tweaking your pay per click adverts is going to produce only a few sales compared with the huge benefit of appearing in traditional offline media.

Secondly, what this report suggests is that having your products and services available on one web site is not enough. People are “sniffing around” for what they want. Since they visit more than one web site to help them make a purchasing decision, your items need to be sold on several prominent web sites as well. For those people with a single product web site, this means developing even more web sites using different approaches to sell the same single item.

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