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After the Storm: Connecting with the New Online Consumer

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Whether the economic downturn permanently changed consumer behavior or not, it did change the way that consumers shop. With more shopping trips beginning
online, more price comparisons, coupon searches and an acceleration in the trend of first-time online shoppers, 2008-09 were pivotal years in online
shopping behavior. Couple that with the social media explosion, and new interest in mobile shopping, and 2011 is poised to be the year that eCommerce
moves from a small but sidelined piece of the retail enterprise, to central to a retailer’s strategy.

In past studies, pure-play eCommerce retailers have differentiated themselves from their store-based peers by focusing on an online experience that is
hard to beat. For them, that has meant pushing the boundaries of eCommerce platforms and moving to the forefront of social media integration –
with a speed that is only limited by consumers’ ability to absorb these innovations.

This study examines how all retailers are responding to consumers’ acceleration of online shopping behaviors, as well as how online pure-plays continue
to seek differentiation as more store-based retailers move online closer to the heart of their business.

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Benchmarks February 15, 2011
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