Impact of Online Sources Up

New York City Consumers in the United States spent an average of 2.6 hours researching products online, an increase of 30% from 2006. Consumers in China spend even more time at the same task, averaging 3.5 hours. Those are among the findings in new research from Netpop.

“Today, more than ever, multichannel marketing is key to reaching your customers,” said Josh Crandall, managing director of Media-Screen LLC, the creator of Netpop. “The consumer is now involved in the purchase process to a greater degree than ever before, with the information and autonomy to make highly informed decisions based on a combination of online and traditional media sources.”

The impact of online is especially dramatic for high-priced goods: For items costing more than $100, six of the top 10 sources used in the purchase decision are found online. Search engines and friends/family share the top spot, each influencing 28% of purchase decisions.

Although e-commerce came later to China than to the United States, Chinese broadband users already match—and in some cases, surpass—the United States in online shopping, with 63% of broadband users in China shopping online regularly compared to 59% in the United States.

Chinese consumers also spend more time researching products online, with respondents reporting 3.5 hours vs. 2.5 hours in the United States. And Chinese consumers are considerably more likely to refer to UGC when making a purchase decision, (58% of respondents in China compared to 19% in the United States).

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