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Consumers' Online Shopping Preferences

by: on | Prominent Placement

A recent survey asked 1000 American consumers (ages 18+) a variety of questions about online shopping, including how they discover new products.  I found the results to be surprising - not that search engines were so high on the list, but that social networks were so low.  Of course, this did vary by age - those ages 18-34 listed social networks 17% of the time. When asked the most common ways they discover new products, respondents answered (they could choose up to 5 channels):

  • Search engines:  52%
  • Emails from merchants:  42%
  • Word of mouth:  31%
  • Print ads:  30%
  • Online marketplace (Amazon, eBay, etc.):  27%
  • Online ads:  21%
  • Catalogs:  20%
  • Website recommendations:  18%
  • TV ad:  18%
  • Direct mail:  14%
  • Price comparison service:  13%
  • In-store displays/signs:  12%
  • Links or information on social networking sites:  8%
  • Radio ads:  5%
  • Product placement/mentions on TV/movies:  4%
To download the study yourself (free), visit http://www.atg.com/online-shopping-study/.  (And marvel, as I did, at ATG's smart usability strategy, whereby they only ask for your email address first.  Once you've given that, then they ask you several other questions.  I found I was more likely to fill these out than if I had seen them on the first page, since I had already "committed" to downloading the study.)
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