The commercial use of the Internet among Americans continues to grow: 58% of US adults say they conduct research online about products and services, up from the 49% who said so in 2004, while roughly one-quarter (24%) have posted comments or reviews online about products they buy, according to a survey from Pew Research.
Moreover, the number of adults who conduct research online about products on any given day has climbed to 21%, up from 15% in September 2007. Since February 2004, the number of adults conducting research on any given day has more than doubled, up from 9%.
Among surveyed Internet users, 78% say they at least occasionally conduct product research and 32% report having posted online product comments.
Below, other findings from the 2010 Online Product Research Report, by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
Who Is Researching Online?
Among Internet users who conduct research online for products and services, key demographic characteristics include the following:
- Men (77%) and women (79%) conduct online product research at similar rates.
- Online African-Americans (66%) conduct product research at significantly lower rates than online whites (81%) or Hispanics (76%).
- Online adults age 65+ conduct less online product research (68%) than those age 30-49 (80%) and age 50-64 (81%).
- Internet users in higher income brackets conduct more online research than those in lower income brackets.