SOURCE: Krillion Inc.

March 24, 2008 06:00 ET

Survey Finds 67 Percent of Shoppers Invest 30+ Percent of Their Total Shopping Time Researching What to Buy

Some Shoppers Spend Months Investigating What to Buy, Consulting Multiple Online Sources, and Are More Likely to Specify Local In-Store Pick-Up When Buying Complex Products Online

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - March 24, 2008) - A new study of the online shopping behavior of 1,000 consumers, released today by Krillion and the e-tailing group, reveals that today's experienced Web shoppers spend a substantial proportion of their total shopping time scouring the Web for product information, buying guides, opinions and reviews of the products they wish to buy. As the complexity of a product increases, consumers are more likely to conduct research both online and offline, and then complete their purchase offline at a local store. A key implication of the research is that manufacturers and e-tailers must be poised for a confident, ready buyer who has conducted extensive research and could buy through any channel, at any moment.

The research shows that the majority (67 percent) of today's Web-savvy shoppers spend more than 30 percent of their total shopping time researching products on the Web. Some people, dubbed 'Web-informed buyers' by the researchers, spend more than 50 percent of their shopping time researching online and have developed sophisticated behaviors and requirements as they use the websites of manufacturers and e-tailers to determine what to buy and where to buy it.

When they are considering purchasing complicated and information-intensive products such as computers, kitchen appliances and consumer electronics products, Web-savvy shoppers consult a wide variety of online resources in a research phase that can begin days, weeks or even months before the actual purchase.

The study also revealed that expectations are high for today's online shoppers regarding the number of information sources they seek out and the features they expect to find on the sites they visit, such as cross-channel purchasing options and real-time inventory information. These consumers make a substantial investment of their time in the hope of finding the best price for an in-stock product. Many of them have embraced the concept of buying items online for in-store pick-up: 55 percent of the shoppers surveyed have purchased a product this way, while for sophisticated, Web-informed buyers this number is 60 percent.

"The study highlights the fact that consumers are actively gathering detailed product information, insight from other shoppers, and third-party validation from multiple sources -- regardless of where they end up consummating the final purchase," said Sherry Thomas-Zon, vice president of marketing at Krillion, the company that commissioned the study. "This means retailers must be poised for a confident, ready buyer who has done his or her homework and could buy through any channel, at any moment."

When shopping for complicated and information-intensive products, manufacturers' websites are ranked as the most essential destination for 72 percent of the 1,000 shoppers surveyed, followed by online stores operated by retailers (54 percent) and comparison shopping engines (50 percent).

"Manufacturer websites are clearly critical links in the information gathering process," said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group. "This survey underscores their influence as ultimate information resources for sophisticated shoppers, and accordingly we urge manufacturers to strengthen their online knowledge bases and enhance the content they share with their retail and search engine partners."

About the "Krillion/e-tailing group Web/Store Cross-Channel Shopping Survey"

Krillion commissioned the e-tailing group to conduct a survey for the purpose of better understanding the impact of online information on consumer buying behavior across various channels. In February 2008 a panel of 1,000 consumers who spend at least $500 online annually and who shop via the Internet at least four times per year completed an online questionnaire.

The major findings can be downloaded here: http://www.krillion.com/pdf/080320_krillion_etail_research_condensed.pdf

About the e-tailing group

The e-tailing group inc. serves as the multi-channel merchant's eye, bringing a merchant's sensibility to evolving the multi-channel shopping experience. A Chicago-based consultancy, it provides practical strategic perspectives and actionable merchandising solutions to merchants selling online as well as to enabling technology firms. For more background about this research study or additional information about the e-tailing group, please contact Lauren Freedman at lf@e-tailing.com or visit the e-tailing group website www.e-tailing.com.

About Krillion

Krillion is a premier provider of local shopping search information, serving today's ready-to-buy consumers who research products online for purchase from retailers in their area. Krillion's mission is to transform the way consumers find and buy national brands by simplifying the Web-to-store purchase process and delivering accurate and timely comparison information on products, retailers, and stock availability through Krillion search results and partner sites. The powerful combination of our patent-pending Krillion Localization Engine, localized search results covering over 10,000 products in 40,000 U.S. locations, and unique, real-time StockCheck™ tool enables consumers to speed their research-to-purchase process and take advantage of in-store pickup services offered by many retailers near them. Through partnerships with manufacturers, publishers and retailers, Krillion is extending its service to become the leading provider of aggregated product, retail location, and availability information on the Web today. Krillion was founded in February 2006 and is funded by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Visit www.krillion.com to find the product you want to buy, near you, right now.

Krillion™ and Krillion Localization Engine™ and Krillion StockCheck™ are trademarks of Krillion Inc. All other product names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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