The National Retail Federation (NRF) announced plans to release the results of a study that measures the effects of multi-channel retailing on consumer behaviour - Channel Surfing: Measuring Multi-Channel Shopping.

The results of the study will be unveiled during NRF's annual e-commerce conference, NRF.com 2000 in San Diego California, September 24 - 27.

The study examines consumer shopping behaviour and influences across three key retail channels - traditional retail stores, online shopping and catalogueue shopping - and enables previously unmeasurable cross-channel influences and behaviour to be analyzed. The fieldwork for the research in each of the channels was conducted concurrently to measure consumer attitudes, benefits and satisfaction from shopping in various retail channels.

NRF's Internet Retailing Advisory Council, a committee of Internet retailing executives, contributed to the development of the Channel Surfing study to better understand how their Internet presence is influencing shopping behaviour in other channels. Such data will help retailers develop strategies and business models to respond to changing consumer needs.

"Multi-channel retailers recognize that online traffic and revenue figures do not go far enough in measuring the overall impact an Internet presence has on the rest of the business," said Scott Silverman, vice president, Internet retailing for the National Retail Federation. "The results of this study will provide a clearer understanding of the bottom-line impact of a multi-channel retailer's Internet presence."

For this study, the NRF has partnered with BizRate.com, the online merchant ratings service and J.C. Williams Group, a retail consulting firm.

"As more and more consumers integrate online shopping into their overall shopping habits, it's critical for retailers to understand how they are using each channel and how shoppers are moving between the different channels - stores, catalogueue and the Internet," said Deborah Levinger, director, MSN Shopping.

MSN, an integrated network of content and services that help consumers get more from the web, is sponsoring the Channel Surfing study.

BizRate.com www.bizrate.comclaims to link more than 4 million shoppers to over 1,500 e-tailers each month. The company monitors the buying behaviour and trends of online buyers.

J.C. Williams Group www.jcwg.com has gained recognition in the field of strategic marketing, retail research and e-commerce. The retail and marketing consulting firm has offices in Toronto and Chicago.

The National Retail Federation's (NRF) membership comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalogueue, Internet and independent stores. NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million US retail establishments, employs more than 20 million people - about 1 in 5 American workers - and registered 1999 sales of $3 trillion. NRF's international members operate stores in more than 50 nations. In its role as the retail industry's umbrella group, NRF also represents 32 national and 50 state associations in the US as well as 36 international associations representing retailers abroad.

For more information about NRF, visit its website at www.nrf.com.


SOURCE National Retail Federation