Do consumers use the web to research products with the intention of purchasing online or to research online and purchase offline (ROPO)? Unsurprisingly, the answers depends on the type of product that they are purchasing, with online purchase intentions around the world doubling since 2011 for many durable and entertainment related categories such as books, tickets and sporting goods. The good news is that these growth categories still have room to expand digitally.

In early 2014, Nielsen surveyed 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries to identify the most popular product categories for buying online versus browsing online and the areas where purchase propensity is leading and lagging. The report helps to identify barriers to online purchasing and strategies to overcome for online sellers.

Online consumers in categories like clothing, event tickets, books or travel reservations typically have a one-to-one correlation between online searching and shopping - that is, those who browse online also buy online. Consumable products have lower online browse/ buy intention rates than non-consumable products.

The report also quantified the trend towards consumers completing mobile transactions with 52% of respondents in Asia Pacific using mobile devices for online purchases, second only to mobile device usage in the Middle East.

The research highlights opportunities for businesses to cater to shoppers that need to research and need reassurance before completing an online purchase. One of those opportunities is to actively engage consumers using both digital and physical experiences throughout their purchase lifecycle.

View the full report from Nielsen - Global Online Purchase Intentions