The Internet helps U.S. customers make choices when buying products, according to a joint study by Yahoo! and research group OMD.
Entitled "Long and Winding Road: The Route to the Cash Register," the report surveys how cultural shifts brought about by the proliferation of technology have radically altered the way consumers make purchasing decisions.
The study found that the Internet, along with related technologies like camera phones and text messaging, have given consumers a new kind of "social empowerment" as they gather information before they shop. More than two-thirds of shoppers across several product categories still make the bulk of their purchases at physical retail locations -- yet nearly two-thirds use a combination of online and offline sources to gather information before they buy.
"The Internet is far more than just another point of purchase; its biggest impact lies within the awareness and consideration process," said Wenda Harris Millard, Yahoo!'s chief sales officer. "The widespread adoption of social technologies gives marketers an even greater opportunity to continuously engage consumers and make connections across traditional and new media advertising, helping to build brand mindshare and increase offline sales."
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Google asks US court to allow release of data queries