Yahoo! and Comscore Study Finds Online Consumers Who Pre-Shop on the Web Spend More In-Store

Sunnyvale CA., July 30, 2007 – Exposure to online advertising is fundamentally changing the way consumers shop, according to new research from Yahoo! and Comscore, Inc. The study, which examined the impact of search and display advertising on in-store sales for five major retailers, showed that consumers exposed to online advertising tend to research or ‘pre-shop’ online prior to purchase, and this behavior ultimately leads to increased in-store sales. These highly-engaged ‘pre-shoppers’ spend an average of 41 percent more in-store when compared to consumers not exposed to online advertising.

“Although recent research cites 89 percent* of consumers shop for information about products online, less than 7 percent** of retail sales actually take place online,” said Amy Vener, Senior Director of Retail Category at Yahoo! “This means retailers have a prime opportunity to engage this audience of ‘pre-shoppers’ through online advertising to capture incremental sales in-store.”

“The JC Penney website is our shopping hub for consumers whether they’re planning to buy online or in-store,” said Dave Abbott, Vice President of Direct Marketing at JC Penney. “Therefore, we are continually focused on developing online marketing and merchandising programs that help us understand the relationship between our customers’ online engagement and our in-store sales.”

Key insights from the study also included the following:

  • Consumers exposed to online advertising are more engaged: Consumers exposed to display and/or search advertising viewed an average of six more pages during the period in which they were researching compared to those not exposed to advertising.
  • Almost 90 percent of the incremental sales generated by online advertising take place in-store:
  • Consumers exposed to online advertising spent an incremental six dollars in-store for every one dollar spent online.
  • Integrated search and display campaigns have maximum impact:Combined search and display ad campaigns resulted in deeper engagement for consumers exposed to those ads, leading to increased sales.

The study, conducted from April 2006 to January 2007, involved a sample of more than 175,000 Comscore panelists and compared the purchasing behavior of those exposed to online advertising with the behavior of those who were not exposed, but who were otherwise behaviorally and demographically identical. The panelists’ in-store purchases were tracked at five major retail stores representing diverse retail segments, including major national department stores, a major apparel retailer and a major supplier of office products. The goal was to examine the lift of in-store purchases of those exposed to online advertising compared to those not exposed in order to understand the incremental impact that online ad exposure has on offline sales.

About Yahoo!

Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo!'s mission is to connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world's knowledge. Yahoo! Inc. is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

About Comscore, Inc.

Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given Comscore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. Comscore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. Comscore analysts apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. Comscore services are used by more than 700 clients, including global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, BBC, Carat, Cyworld, Deutsche Bank, France Telecom, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Financial Times, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, Starcom, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Verizon, ViaMichelin, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit

*BIG Research 2007

**Forrester State of Retailing Online 2007

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications

More About