Visiting a physical store is the most influential source of information used by consumers when making purchasing decisions across all categories, according to new Forrester data from a survey of more than 4,500 US adults. When asked about their product research generally, 60% of US online consumers say they visit a brand or manufacturer website, and 57% do the same on a retailer website.
Of course, note analysts Cory Munchbach and Gina Sverdlov in their new report, smartphones and tablets have also expanded the research process for consumers. Twenty percent of US online consumers with a cellphone have used it to look up information while in a store or to read a consumer review. And while the tablet is less prevalent in-store, it’s playing a role before consumers are leaving home: 44% have used their tablet to research a product (and 16% have used it in-store to do research).