Shoppers go online before they buy

Checking online reviews before making a purchase has become a mainstream consumer practice, a new survey of more than 700 people in the US has found.

Checking online reviews before making a purchase has become a mainstream consumer practice, a new survey of more than 700 people in the US has found.

Over 60% of respondents to the Opinion Research Corporation survey said they check online reviews and blogs before making a significant purchase, with most finding the information via search engines.

Over 80% of respondents said online reviews generally had at least some influence on their purchasing decision, but, interestingly, they reported using online reviews in quite a few different ways.

Close to 40% of respondents said checking the web is the first thing they do when they are thinking of making a purchase, while 27% said they will consult a review to help them decide between two or three competing products.

Another 21% said they use online information at around the mid-point of their search to check they are chasing the right item or service before hitting the shops for some more in-depth research.

Travel and recreation was the most heavily researched product category, ahead of electronic goods, household products and clothes.

 

Read more about online retail and online research

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