--How are consumers using the Internet? Let us count the ways. Actually, there are really only two: users either shop online and then go offline to buy what they want, or they decide to stay online and complete their purchases.
Of the two, according to a new report by Port Washington, N.Y.-based marketing information provider, The NPD Group, 51 percent of consumers in May 2001, e-shopped, then went out and bought products at brick-and-mortar stores. Forty percent shopped for something and bought it online.
--All the e-shopping might have a little to do with the still healthy number of new brands being presented on the Net. Since October 1999, reports Evaliant Media Resources, an online ad data provider based in New York, the number of new brands--defined as products never advertised on the Net before and new products offered by current Web advertisers--has averaged out to 400-600 a week.
--According to the NPD Report, 84 percent of consumers who said they have made an online purchase one time or fewer in the past six months (Dec. 2000-May 2001) said they usually shop online and buy offline.
--There is a percentage of consumers that shop offline, then log onto the Internet to make their purchases. But it's small. In May, it was 9 percent.
--Consumers who shop through catalogs said they are using the Web to make more purchases. But people who go to stores buy in stores and will continue to do so. Consumers who shop at mass merchandisers said they are more likely to remain loyal to traditional store locations.