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Where do consumers look before making a purchase?

Be it Yelp, Amazon, Google, a best friend, or a favorite editor, consumers are shopping around for the scoop on products before deciding to purchase.

The Nov/December 2011 Key Findings post offers a breakdown of consumer buying behavior including where consumers look for information on products, and which methods prove most influential in the decision to buy:

Consumer Buying Behavior

Consumer Buying Decisions

Note that while search engines prove to be the primary way most shoppers report finding information on products (Where Consumers Look…), personal experiences with the product or brand have the greatest impact on whether or not a consumer will buy a product (Top Influences…).

Online product reviews run a close second to personal experience in the buyer influence category (Top Influences…). And merchants are taking notice.

A recent NYT article describes how one retailer and its product were removed from the popular online retailer after offering a steep discount on a product in exchange for a review. The article highlights the value of consumer-to-consumer reviews over traditional advertising.

As this trend continues, technology will advance to maintain a level of fairness and full-disclosure. In the meantime, it seems retailers would do better to use advertising as a way to entice consumers to experience the product.

Read the latest Key Findings on

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