Online marketing efforts can be a key driver of in-store sales for retailers, an expert has claimed.

Speaking at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Retail Forum, Yahoo! retail category director Nicola Ibberson said the past Christmas had been "a lot better than expected" thanks in part to the impact of internet marketing services.

She pointed to a survey by the search engine that showed 63 per cent of purchases were influenced by consumers researching a product online before buying in-store.

Furthermore, Ms Ibberson said internet marketing played a key role in boosting customer awareness of brands, with the poll showing that online and TV ads shared top billing as the most influential form of media.

According to figures from BIGresearch, 92.5 per cent of US consumers either regularly or occasionally look for information about a potential purchase online before they buy from a store.

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