One in Five US Internet Users Read Reviews Online Before Buying In-Store - eMarketer

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One in Five US Internet Users Read Reviews Online Before Buying In-Store

Blog reviews are popular destinations for online research and browsing

April 18, 2016

Showrooming has emerged as a popular way to shop—digital shoppers first examine a product in-store before ultimately purchasing the product at a lower price online. But with shoppers increasingly connected to devices on the go, US internet users are also researching products online—and then buying them in-store.

US Internet Users Who Have Purchased a Product In-Store After Reading an Online Review*, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

One in five US internet users surveyed in February 2016 by Collective Bias said they had purchased a product in-store after reading an online review, on a blog or social media post. And when respondents were asked about which social media site they did their research on while considering an in-store purchase, 20.8% turned to Facebook. Another 18.6% used YouTube. About 14% of those surveyed said they conducted research by reading blog posts.

But while US internet users are much more likely to turn to social media sites for their primary digital research, blog reviews are more likely to persuade in-store purchasing.

Source that Is Most Likely to Convince US Internet Users to Purchase a Product In-Store, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

Among those who had made in-store purchases because of online reviews, 14.5% said they would most likely be convinced to make an in-store purchase by a blog review; somewhat fewer, 12.3%, cited social media reviews. By far, though, word-of-mouth, from friends and family, was the strongest influencer for in-store purchases.

According to Collective Bias' report, the consumer electronics category is the most likely category to be purchased in-store based on digital reviews; 23.4% of respondents had done this. Another 21.2% purchased beauty or fashion products.

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