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Online advertising 'affects consumer behaviour'

Advertising online helps drive sales in stores, according to new research from internet giant Yahoo! and online ratings agency comScore.

The study found that sales in the stores of five major US retailers were boosted by consumers being exposed to online advertising, even if they didn"t then make a purchase online.

This group of "pre-shoppers" who research likely purchases on the internet but prefer to buy in person found that those who had been engaged by online advertising spent on average 41 per cent more in-store.

According to the study, close to 90 per cent of the incremental sales caused by online advertising are in stores rather than online, suggesting that a powerful online presence and successful internet advertising is also important for traditional offline retailers.

"Although recent research cites 89 per cent of consumers shop for information about products online, less than seven per cent of retail sales actually take place online," said Amy Vener, senior retail director at Yahoo!.

"This means retailers have a prime opportunity to engage this audience of "pre-shoppers" through online advertising to capture incremental sales in-store," she added.

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