BERLIN: The internet is exerting an increasingly strong influence on purchases made in bricks and mortar stores in Germany, a survey has found.

Bazaarvoice and Richrelevance commissioned Forrester to poll 501 netizens who had either researched or bought products through the web during the previous 12 months, finding 64% of the panel are uncertain about which brand they would buy at the start of the purchase process.

Moreover, 90% were open as to the outlet they may ultimately procure it from, 47% already knew the quantity of goods they wished to acquire and 39% had decided the amount they were willing to pay, the study added.

The main reasons for buying products in physical stores included seeing the item concerned, on 54%, not wanting to wait for delivery, with 41%, and avoiding shipping costs, logging 34%.

Another 28% of the sample discovered a better price on the high street, 25% believed it should be easier to return goods, but 9% stated an outright preference for this type of shopping.

Online search was the most commonly-used research tool, employed by 83% of people obtaining items via an ecommerce portal, and 63% who did so offline.

A further 71% of participants that had completed an internet transaction turned to a retailer's website as an information source, and 67% accessed price comparison services.

The report suggested a multichannel approach - for example allowing online ordering and in-store pick-up - is therefore a strategy retailers must pursue.

Data sourced from Internet World; additional content by Warc staff