Survey: Online Info Tops For Shoppers

By Joseph Palenchar On Sep 13 2010 - 4:01am




ALPHARETTA, GA. — CE shoppers do more research online than they do in-store before buying a CE product or major appliance, and they turn to family, friends and colleagues for information more than they turn to print media, TV, and in-store salespeople, a MarketSource survey found.

The nationwide poll, conducted exclusively for TWICE, also found that consumers rank price, features and product reviews as the most important factors influencing their buying decision, in that order. The next most important factors were warranties, recommendations from family/ friends/colleagues and overall style. Warranties are slightly more important to men than to women, and women are generally more influenced by brand name, the market research company also found. Men and women, however, are equally influenced by price, features and reviews, in that order.

A whopping 81 percent of surveyed respondents said they research planned purchases by going online. Of those who go on-line, 68 percent begin their on-line research before ever setting foot in a store, and they spend at least 53 minutes conducting research.

Old-fashioned footwork is not out of vogue, however. Sixty-seven percent of respondents conduct in-store research before making a purchase, and 61 percent also talk it up with family, friends, and colleagues before buying.

Old media and salespeople fared less well. Only 45 percent of consumers said they use magazines or newspapers as a resource. Respondents weren’t asked if they conducted their print research by reading articles or by perusing the ads. Only 37 percent said they turned to the TV for information, and only 33 percent bothered to talk to a salesperson.

To find out where they shop, MarketSource asked respondents to rank 12 factors that influence their choice of shopping venues. The most important attribute in selecting a place to shop was in-stock availability, followed closely by wide selection, the ease of finding a specific product, and honoring advertised discounts, in that order.

Next came a knowledgeable sales staff, followed by a liberal return policy, clear product information or explanatory displays, and ease of checking out.

When asked which physical stores they would go to first to shop, consumers ranked Best Buy on top followed by Walmart, Target and Sears. Top online destinations of choice were Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Sears, in that order.

MarketSource, a provider of integrated sales and market services, compiled responses from adults in 505 households, yielding a sample size considered statistically robust and providing a significance level of +/-5 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. Respondents had to be at least 18 years of age.

Of the respondents, 73 percent were female, 38 percent had a college degree, 22 percent had a graduate degree, 28 percent had some college education, and 12 percent had a high-school education.

Twenty-four percent of respondents had household incomes of more than $100,000, 21 percent had household incomes of more than $75,000 but less than $100,000, 26 percent had incomes of more than $50,000 but less than $75,000, and 22 percent had incomes of more than $25,000 but less than $50,000.

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