Study: Consumer reviews are increasingly important in shopping decisions

Aurel Dragan 08/07/2019 | 11:22

Digital information has changed people’s attitudes and behaviour towards online and offline shopping, as GfK’s FutureBuy study reveals. Searching products and services, getting more information about them, reading reviews posted by other users and comparing prices are the most common internet buying behaviors.

The fastest growing rates in 2018 compared to the previous year in Romania are shopping on mobile devices while watching TV, using the same devices to pay in stores and making purchases by clicking on online ads.

The role of the internet

More than half of urban internet users used the internet more often in 2018 versus 2017 to find the products they want or find out about them. It’s important for them to check reviews from other users for the products they are interested in, as well as expert reviews. It is also very important for them to be able to compare prices on specialized sites or discount sites as well as to have access to demonstrations on how products work.

These factors apply particularly for shoppers of electro-IT products, other durable goods or clothing. Comparing prices in different stores is an increasingly common practice for 44 percent of those surveyed, with Romania being above the global level in this chapter, which shows increased attention to finding the best price-quality ratio for products.

41 percent of respondents used search engines as shopping aids more last year and 3 out of 10 turned to shopping lists, down 2 percent from the previous year. The mobile phone has become the most important shopping tool for more than half of the Romanian internet users.

Co-creation can increase loyalty

More than 7 out of 10 consumers say that it is important for them to have the same product price whether they buy it online or in stores.

Loyalty to products or stores is increasingly difficult to preserve. 54 percent of respondents agree that retailers, advertisers and brands are less likely to influence purchasing decisions than ever before.

Likewise, 54 percent of them say they are more loyal to a brand or retailer that gives them the opportunity to personalize, give suggestions, or help design the products or services they buy.

53 percent say they appreciate when websites make recommendations based on their interests shown in previous visits. This percentage is down 3 points from 2017.

The GfK FutureBuy study offers a complete scan of the expectations of urban Romanian buyers, internet users and the way brands can build strong relationships with them throughout the online and offline buying process. The study was conducted in Romania on a sample of 1,000 respondents among urban internet users, aged 18 and over.

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