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The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from The Advertising Research Foundation by Robert Barocci, Taddy Hall, Steve Rappaport, Joseph Plummer

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Today’s Online Shopper Profile

Today’s shoppers browsing online stores, researching and comparing products, cross the demographic spectrum, from age 14 on up (eMarketer 2006i). Nearly 118 million people, about four out of five internet users, shopped online in 2005. Due to the large numbers of people already online, growth will not be as rapid as in earlier years, but the numbers are impressive. For 2009, eMarketer (2006i) forecasts 133 million shoppers.

Shoppers like the anywhere, anytime convenience of online research and shopping. Most agree that online prices compete with offline costs, that sites are easy to use, that they have time to shop, and that they can get online. For these reasons, about 85% of internet shoppers 14 or older made at least one online purchase in 2005. Why doesn’t everyone buy something online, then? Shipping’s cost and delivery times can be showstoppers, but often the biggest barrier is that people want to see the product or be able to touch it. Does privacy matter? Concerns exist, but opinion varies on its extent (Copeland and Rogers 2005; eMarketer 2006i; Turow 2006). Online retailers, however, have generally taken steps to reassure shoppers of transaction security (Kim 2006).

Shopping Strategies

Shoppers research before they buy, firing up browsers for web work and combining them with offline advertising, catalogs, listening to word of mouth, or visiting stores or dealers (Forrester 2006; Freedman 2006; Yahoo! 2006c). Shoppers draw heavily on online ...

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