The Internet and Consumer Choice

  • May 18, 2008
  • By John Horrigan

The internet is a valuable research tool for online shoppers and at times provides information that is critically important in purchase decisions. Yet, more often than not, purchases are consummated offline and post-purchase online commentary is only a small part of a typical shopper's activities. This is the role of the internet across three different products. 

This report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds that:

  • The internet helps music buyers connect with artists and learn more about music, but it doesn't strongly influence what or how they buy.
  • The internet is an influential source of information and options for those purchasing feature-rich items such as cell phones.
  • The internet is an efficiency-enhancer in searching for new housing.
  • Few internet users bother to rate or comment on their purchase, even for a digital good such as music.

Read the full report The Internet and Consumer Choice on the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.