Online Research A Significant Part Of Consumer Buying

by , Feb 22, 2011, 10:16 AM
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According to a new study, "Inside the Buy," by the AMP Agency, to determine what's behind consumer's shopping behaviors, just 3% of consumers say they are loyal to a particular brand and never buy anything else. The study considered digital behaviors in five leading consumer categories: baby products, consumer electronics, food and beverage, health and beauty, and fashion.   

Today's digital minded consumer has widened the scope of purchase possibilities, which appears to have shifted consumers' mindset and redefined contemporary brand loyalty. With only 3% of consumers loyal to a particular brand and never buy anything else, 97% have an apparent willingness to consider brand choices.

Allison Marsh, VP of Consumer Insights at AMP Agency, says "... new consumer behavior is redefining 'contemporary loyalty'... consumers have seized control and are more open to the wide choices in the marketplace."  

Overall, 43% of consumers report doing some type of research before they buy. By category, 64% of consumers research consumer electronics before purchasing.

  • 31% research health and beauty   
  • 44% study the baby products category

Close to one in four consumers report doing some type of research before making a decision in both the fashion and food and beverage categories.    

Men are spending significantly more time doing pre-research:

  • 46% of men reported that they always research fashion purchases, vs. 32% for females.  
  • 37% of male respondents said they always research health and beauty products, while 25% of females stated the same.  
  •  94% of consumers said that research positively influenced their decision to make a purchase, and 36% said they bought a product because of the research they found

Though the web appears to offer an endless wealth of information and opinion, says the report, but the findings show that consumers want more information:

  • 30% of consumers stated they cannot find enough of the information they are looking for
  • Only 4% felt overwhelmed by the amount of research available to them in a particular category

The survey found that 47% of consumers look to a brand website for pre-purchase research, while 46% report visiting a retailer's website first.  Websites dedicated to reviews and social media sites come close, with 40% of consumers visiting sites dedicated to reviews and 38% doing research on social media websites.  Blogs fell below, with just 18% of consumers reporting.

72% of respondents stated they turn most to general consumer reviews when it comes to seeking information on product performance, close to twice the importance they place on expert "durability" or "functionality" reviews, which came in at 42%.  Only 22% reported specifically seeking out information about the quality of the product.

52% of respondents said online consumer reviews most influenced their purchase. 41% said feedback from a friend was important, and 37% were influenced by the number of positive reviews they read online. Only 17% stated the number of negative reviews had an effect.

36% consumers spent at least a few days researching a product, while 24% spent less than one day conducting an online search, says the report. Overall, most consumers say they conduct some research before purchasing a product, with only 2% stating they usually make their purchases on the spot.  

Ms. Marsh concludes that "... consumers are being strongly influenced by information and opinions shared online... this new path to purchase... has become an everyday part of consumers' behavior."

For more information from the Amp Agency, and to download the "Inside the Buy" white paper, please visit here.

0 comments on "Online Research A Significant Part Of Consumer Buying".

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