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RAMA Research Finds Magazines, Television and Newspapers Prompt Online Product Searches

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RAMA Research Finds Magazines, Television and Newspapers Prompt Online Product Searches-Young Adults Using New Media to Communicate About Online Searches - 
Washington, DC, March 12, 2007 – Though there is no question that online searches are becoming more popular among consumers, what exactly triggers those consumers to search online? In a recent analysis of BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM 9) by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), consumers say they take cues from traditional advertising to determine when and where to search for merchandise online.
Consumers said that they were most motivated to begin an online search after viewing advertisements in magazines (47.2%), newspapers (42.3%), on TV (42.8%) and from reading articles (43.7%). Women were more likely than men to be motivated by coupons (41.8% vs. 29.0%) and in-store promotions (29.0% vs. 24.5%) while men were more driven to start an online search based on a face-to-face conversation (36.1% vs. 29.5%). 

“When it comes to advertising, retailers always need to be careful not to put all of their eggs in one basket,” said Mike Gatti, Executive Director of RAMA. “While search engine marketing continues to be a popular strategy, retailers should not lose sight of traditional advertising channels to promote products and services.” 

After searching, online consumers said they are most likely to communicate with others about their search through face-to-face discussion (68.9%), though email (53.1%), telephone (50.9%), and cell phone (30%) communication were also popular choices. Young adults 18-24 are also taking advantage of an influx of new media, communicating about service, products and brands by instant messaging (37.5%), text messaging (23.7%) and through online communities like MySpace and Facebook (20.6%). 

”Retailers must realize that online communities are now producers and through their stories are able to extend the distribution of traditional media with a trust and truth not even approximated by mass media,” said Joe Pilotta, Vice President of BIGresearch.  

Shoppers continue to use the web as a resource before determining which items to buy and where. According to the survey, 92.5 percent of adults said they regularly or occasionally research products online before buying them in a store. Products that are most often researched online before being purchased in a store include electronics (50.8%), apparel (31.9%), and appliances (27.0%). Men were twice as likely as women to shop for automobiles online (20.2% vs. 10.2%), though women research home décor products more often than men (18.9% vs. 11.6%). 

About the Survey: The SIMM 9 survey is a consumer-centered survey of 15,287 consumers, which is conducted two times each year. SIMM measures consumption across media, retail channels and products and provides marketers with unique, holistic consumption insights for improving marketing ROI. SIMM 9 was collected in November and December of 2006. The SIMM Survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch’s syndicated Simultaneous Media Usage Survey (SIMM) monitors more than 15,000 consumers twice each year to identify marketing opportunities in a fragmented and changing media marketplace. www.bigresearch.com

The Retail Advertising & Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation, is a trade association of over 1500 retail marketing and advertising executives, plus their supporting partners from the advertising agency, media and service-provider areas. RAMA sponsors the annual Retail Advertising Conference, the largest single gathering of retail marketing and advertising professionals in the industry today. RAMA also produces the RACie Awards Competition, the most prestigious creative contest in retail. www.rama-nrf.org