The internet now plays a huge role in the way consumers conduct research before making offline purchases, an industry expert has said.

According to Chris Lake, editor-in-chief of E-consultancy, online marketers should ensure that when it comes to their marketing strategy, all the “pieces of the jigsaw” are intact otherwise they will lose out.

He noted that marketers should use the unique strengths of all of their different marketing channels, including online, to generate sales.

Mr Lake also pointed out that offline channels such as television advertising are also driving a significant proportion of sales online.

According to official national statistics, 16 million households (65 per cent of homes) in Britain have access to the internet – an increase of just over a million (seven per cent) since last year and five million households since 2002.

The region with the highest level of access is the south-east with 74 per cent, while the north-east has the lowest level of internet take-up, with just 54 per cent.
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