Online shoppers still buy offline

Study analyzing shopping patterns shows people research products online, but most still buy offline.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

A new study shows that most people who use Web searches to look for products end up purchasing them offline. The study, set to be released on Tuesday, was sponsored by Google and conducted by ComScore Networks. It shows that 25 percent of Web searchers purchased an item directly related to their query. Within that group, 37 percent completed the purchase online, and 63 percent bought the item offline.

The study looked at the impact of Web search on consumers' holiday-related purchases, excluding comparison shopping sites. It reflects the searching behavior of 83 million Americans who conducted more than 552 million searches in the 11 categories analyzed using at least one of the 24 leading search engines.