Study Finds Consumers Rely on Ratings, Reviews and Recommendations During Recession
Forty-eight percent of online shoppers plan to spend less this year, but 61 percent are positively influenced by online shopping resources, according to a new study.
The study was conducted by JupiterResearch, a Forrester Research company, and surveyed more than 800 consumers nationwide in November and December 2008. It was commissioned by Bazaarvoice, an online ratings and reviews services provider, and richrelevance, a personalized recommendations platform provider.
Online shoppers, results showed, are more reluctant to make purchases over the next 12 months primarily in the automotive sector (50 percent), travel sector (46 percent) and consumer electronics sector (43 percent).
Consumers reducing their spending are particularly diligent about shopping around: 42 percent visited three or more sites to research their last purchases, according to the study, and nearly all are spending more time online prior to making purchases.
As a comparison, in its 2008 Retail Consumer Survey, JupiterResearch found that only 33 percent of online shoppers made up their minds about the price they were willing to pay for purchases prior to going online to research.
Even fewer had made up their minds about the following shopping decisions, according to the 2008 Retail Consumer Survey:
- which item or title to choose (31 percent);
- which brand to buy (23 percent);
- which store to visit (16 percent); or
- when to make their purchases (13 percent).
The current study also found that shoppers who research their purchases online look for content that helps inspire, discover and confirm their choices, including user ratings and reviews (77 percent) and recommendations based on other consumers’ purchasing or browsing behaviors (66 percent and 65 percent, respectively).
For more information about the study, visit Bazaarvoice's blog.