NUREMBERG: Retailers in Germany must respond to the new ways consumers are researching and purchasing products, a study has argued.

In a report, GfK and Accenture predicted multichannel sales - where people investigate products via one outlet and buy them from another - are set to grow dramatically.

Revenues generated through this process, such as shoppers learning about brands online and obtaining them in bricks and mortar stores, stood at €14bn ($19bn; £12bn) for non-food goods in 2009, equivalent to a 10% market share.

There were substantial variations between categories, with 20% of electrical equipment acquired in this way, falling to just 5% regarding apparel.

Looking forward, total returns should climb by almost 80% during the period to 2015, a 17% proportion of expenditure, reaching 44% concerning computers.

These figures can be measured against the increase from 7% to 10% for "pure" e-commerce transactions.

The GfK/Accenture analysis suggested traditional retailers enjoy the strongest chance of tapping in to the multichannel trend, as they could benefit whichever formula is adopted by consumers.

Young, single and relatively affluent shoppers have displayed the highest uptake of this activity, which now accounts for approximately 20% of their non-food purchases.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff