Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Forget Ali vs Frazer: the real showdown is between printed catalogues and the internet. Which medium is more useful when it comes time to research your next purchase? That depends what you're shopping for...

In one corner: the latest Ikea catalogue, promising hours of browsing pleasure within its glossy pages. In the other corner: Amazon.com, complete with personalised recommendations and books at crazy-cheap prices. Forget Ali vs Frazer: the real showdown is between printed catalogues and the internet. Which medium is more useful when it comes time to research your next purchase?

Well, that depends what you’re shopping for, according to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research…

Internet: popular for big purchases

In the market for a new or used car? More than half (52%) of Australians aged 14+ think the internet is a good place to start looking for a used vehicle, and 46% think it’s useful for researching a new car. The internet is also favoured by people looking to buy car parts (36%), although 19% of the population find catalogues useful in this instance too.

Researching real estate is another example of when Australians prefer to go online, with 48% naming the internet as the most useful media for this purpose. Many people (47%) also use it to source information about home (or other) loans, insurance (47%), and purchasing computers (43%).

Catalogues: still number one for many

Despite its popularity, the internet is not the One-Stop Shop it’s often made out to be. Australians still find printed catalogues more useful when they’re considering certain kinds of purchases: groceries (51%), toys (43%), kids’ clothing (42%) and cosmetics (38%), to name a few.

Interestingly, given the growing popularity of online fashion shopping, more Australians (38%) prefer to look at catalogues when considering clothing purchases than the internet (21%). Catalogues also reign supreme for Aussies looking to buy alcohol: 43% consider them the most useful source of information, with the internet a distant second (15%).

Close competition

For other product categories, preferences aren’t so clear cut. For example, while 32% of Aussies find the internet most useful for purchasing CDs and DVDs, 31% prefer catalogues. It’s a similar scenario among Australians shopping for home interiors and furnishings: 23% like to consult catalogues and 25% prefer to go online. When it comes to purchasing home entertainment and electronics, it’s a draw: 31% of Australians prefer the internet and 31% prefer catalogues.

Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2012 – March 2013 (n = 51,172).

George Pesutto, General Manager – Media & Communications, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“While online shopping is undoubtedly here to stay, many Australians, when in that purchasing frame of mind, still prefer to leaf through a printed catalogue, especially for smaller items like clothes and groceries.

“In an era where the choices of where to advertise seem to be growing exponentially, it should be comforting to advertisers that traditional mass media are still considered important to consumers when making the final decision.

“Of course, Australians are becoming more and more comfortable with online research and shopping, which offers an exciting opportunity for retailers also.

“In the end though, the continued popularity of printed catalogues sends a loud, clear message to marketers: we may be living in a digital age, but printed communication is still one of the most effective ways of reaching consumers in the market to buy.”


Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com


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