Survey Reveals Web Plays Critical Role in Both Online and Offline Purchase Decisions

A new study shows that affluent
adults rely heavily on the Internet to make and research purchases.  The
online study, which was jointly conducted by and
Nielsen//NetRatings, also found that affluent adults access the Web nearly
every day, and use it far more than any other media during the day.
  The study, which surveyed 956 users, shows just how
important Web advertising has become in influencing both online and offline
purchases of affluent Americans.  For the purposes of this study, and Nielsen//NetRatings defined affluent adults as users making over $100,000 annual household income.
results of this study are especially important for marketers because,
according to another recent study by Nielsen//NetRatings
(Sept, 2002), the
fastest growing income group online is making between $100,000 and $149,000.
Among the key findings of the
affluent survey are:

- Virtually all affluent adult shoppers use the Web to make or research
    their purchases.  For automobile, computer and travel purchases, use of
    the Web was extraordinarily high (over 90% of those surveyed).

  —Affluent adults access the Web almost every day from either work or
    home and the Web dominates their weekday media usage.

  —The majority of affluent adults who purchase luxury items and various
    professional services say the Web is the best place for advertisers to
    reach them.

  —Web advertising and newspaper advertising are statistically tied as the
    #1 media for influencing purchase decisions of affluent adults.

“The bottom line is that retailers and manufacturers need to advertise on
the Web if they want to influence Americans with high purchasing power,” said
Christopher M. Schroeder, CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek
Interactive.  “The messages that affluent Americans see on the Web are having
a very real impact on their purchasing decisions.  This study supports the
findings from our own case studies—that messages being delivered on the Web
are heavily influencing both online and offline sales.”
This survey is part of an effort by and
Nielsen//NetRatings to better understand how key online audience segments view
and use the Web.  In September of 2002, the two companies released a
groundbreaking survey looking at how business decision makers use the Web.  The
survey released today is one of the first to look at how affluent Americans
use the Web when making purchase decisions.
“The study provides evidence that affluent Americans are relying heavily
on the Web when making purchase decisions and marketers targeting this segment
of the population can use this knowledge to better plan their advertising
campaigns,” said Carolyn Clark, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.
“The Internet is not simply being used as an electronic shopping mall, but as
a primary resource for understanding and researching purchases.”

detailed results and methodology visit: