Consumer Reports recently reported that an increasing amount of electronics purchases are taking place online. Plus, social media marketing and digital prospect outreach can boost in-store traffic as well.

Consumer Reports found that ecommerce is becoming increasingly common for electronics purchases. According to the study, 34 percent of electronics purchases took place online in 2010 – double the amount the company found five years ago. Marketers in related industries should remember that content marketing will support customers in their shopping decisions.

According to Consumer Reports, part of the reason consumers enjoy purchasing electronics on the web is the amount of content available to them describing the devices they plan to purchase. User-generated reviews, professionally written reviews and comparisons to other products are available on the web.

“Our survey shows that consumers are getting more and more comfortable making electronics purchases online – even big-ticket items like TVs,” Paul Reynolds, electronics editor at Consumer Reports, said in a release. “But there are also many shoppers who prefer to see items up close before buying. Some walk-in stores are among the best electronics retailers in our ratings.”

Even if purchases are taking place in stores, the web presents substantial opportunity for marketers to compel buyers to choose their stores. Increased social media marketing was recently proven to correlate with spikes in brick-and-mortar traffic, Brafton reported. Moreover, a separate study covered by Brafton demonstrates that socially engaged users spend two to seven times more money with brands than shoppers without exposure to social content.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.