New research sponsored by CEA and Yahoo reveals that most people research their consumer electronics purchases online before buy anything. 71% of purchases were not made online, yet nearly three-quarters of those were researched online first. The average amount of online research was 12 hours per purchase. The average time for television purchases was even higher, at 15 hours. Over the six month period covered by the study, online research influenced more than $25 billion in sales.
I find it interesting that the study showed that three of the top sources used to research purchases were Web search engines, manufacturer Web sites, and retailer Web sites. The CEA press release does not detail what people looked for using the search engines, but they do not mention reviews at all. This might imply that shoppers are looking more for facts and comparison pricing than for evaluations, which could support my position that it is difficult — if not impossible — to provide effective review information for the HDTV market.
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