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Online research is central to consumer shopping behavior: 50% of online shoppers say they conduct research online for at least one-half of their purchases, and 64% consistently read online reviews prior to making product purchase decisions, according to an e-tailing group and PowerReviews study slated for release in early May.

Online shoppers prefer research conducted on the Web because it saves them time and increases their confidence in purchase decisions, the study found:

  • 46% say they save much more time and 33% save somewhat more time doing their own research online vs. traditional in-store research.
  • 46% are much more confident and 37% are somewhat more confident about making a purchase decision when they conduct research online vs. speaking to a knowledgeable salesperson in-store.
  • 45% are very satisfied and 37% are somewhat satisfied with the product and category information they typically find when researching online prior to shopping.

Below, other findings from the 2010 Social Shopping Study by the e-tailing group and PowerReviews, which surveyed consumers on their preferences regarding online product research and customer reviews.

Most Consumers Start With Search Engines

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