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Report Shows When It’s Cheaper to Buy Online

Is it cheaper to buy goods online? A recent report found that 75% of the items its authors reviewed were for sale at the same price online and offline. Anthem Marketing Solutions regularly compares online and in-store pricing of consumer goods.

Anthem’s January findings show pricing differences vary by category. For example, the Household products category had highest price consistency at 80.8%, while the Beauty category had the lowest price consistency at 62.1%.

And when a price difference exists, 75% of observations favor the online channel.

Online discounts were observed as high as 73.7%, and instore discounts observed as high as 58.6%.

The publishers of the report had some advice for merchants: “Online retailers need to be careful of training consumers with frequently repeated blanket discounts – you’ve already won the pricing war vs. brick & mortar stores, now focus on convenience, repeat replenishment, and other benefits your channel can offer to keep consumers loyal,” it advised.

It also had some advice for shoppers: “Bundle smaller purchases and consider stocking up when buying convenience items online to take advantage of blanket discount codes,” it said. And, “If you’re looking for cost savings, online still isn’t there when it comes to grocery; best use for online right now is to ease delivery of heavy/ bulky/ high volume items to make your typical grocery shopping trip easier.”

You can find an introduction to the study along with a link to the report on the AnthemEdge.com website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.