Looking for a store? Want to compare prices? Need product information? Every day, millions of Americans are turning to the Internet before they decide what to buy and where to buy it.  Great stats.

In a survey conducted in March by Burst Media, nearly half (49.8%) of respondents cited television as the media that most effectively captured their attention, followed by the Internet, with magazines, newspapers and radio trailing.

Not a bad showing for the newest medium on the list. When respondents were asked about purchasing influence, which ranks higher in marketers’ concerns than general attention grabbing, the Internet was revealed to be even more significant.

"As the Internet’s reach has grown so has its influence on the way households conduct many daily activities," Chuck Moran of Burst told iMedia, "one being how households gather information on products and services they plan to purchase."

More than half of the respondents said the Internet was their primary source for information about products or services they might purchase.

Even more striking was the difference in use of the Internet between income segments. Use of the Internet to gather product information rises dramatically as household income (HHI) increases. In other words, the higher the HHI, the more the Internet influences purchasing.

If marketers test these findings in the real world and find they hold up, the already steady flow of ad dollars from television to the Internet could turn into a flood.

More here.