On Purchases, Offline Advice Trumps Online

On Purchases, Offline Advice Trumps Online


While consumers making purchases do gain some knowledge from the Internet, it is just one of many resources people use in ultimately making a buying decision. That’s according to a report issued this week by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

The survey applies to all sorts of products, including cell phones and other electronics, as well as housing.

It found that among those who purchased mobile phones in the past year, 59 percent got advice from an salesperson or expert, 46 percent went to one or more stores, and just 39 percent looked online. Meanwhile, only 10 percent of cell phone buyers said their Internet research had a “major effect” on their decision.

“The internet is a tactical tool for shoppers who use it in product research, and usually not a game-changer in people’s purchasing decisions,” wrote the report’s author, Pew Associate Director John B. Horrigan.

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