Looking for Bargains? Check the Web First

 31% of shoppers end up buying online

More Americans are researching furniture and appliances online than two years ago. A March 2008 PriceGrabber.com survey found that 81% of respondents turn to the Web for information on these items, while 53% claimed that the Internet was their first choice for home product research.

Of the 81% of shoppers who incorporate the Internet into their decision-making process, 31% end up buying online.

Consumers have also become more comfortable with making big purchases online despite the inability to see the merchandise. Only 56% of those surveyed in 2008 consider lack of “touch and feel” to be a primary concern compared with 70% of respondents in August 2006.

However, shipping fees are a barrier to buying major home items online. Seventy-two percent of consumers reported that free shipping would increase the likelihood of completing such transactions.

Free delivery ranks high on all online buyers’ wish lists. This desirable offering came in second behind low prices in two recent studies. According to STORES Magazine, 54.2% of online buyers believe free shipping to be very important while Synovate found that 18% of all Internet users think it’s the most important factor when purchasing on the Web.

PriceGrabber.com survey via eMarketer