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Survey: Retail sites pick up steam among consumer searches


Search engines are getting knocked down a peg when it comes to where consumers begin their online research.


More than two-thirds (67%) of shoppers now begin their online searches on a retail site, not a search engine, according to “Browsing & Buying Behavior by Category: 2016,” a report from HookLogic. 


Online shoppers are a focused bunch, with two-thirds (66%) browsing with a specific product in mind, the study said. This also helps them comparison shop, as 41% of consumers tend to browse different products on the same Website to compare merchandise, the study said. Some also use shopping carts as go-to comparison tools. For example, 19% add products into shopping carts — without purchasing them right away — to compare merchandise prior to making a purchase decision. 


While price is often the top reason why shoppers tend to browse multiple retail sites prior to making a purchase, 34% are doing due diligence in search of better product selections. Another 23% do so because their desired merchandise is unavailable, and 20% want to compare shipping options, or need more product information, respectively, the report said. 


Eager to satisfy these priorities, it is not surprising that consumers are increasing browsing frequency. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of online shoppers browse at least one of the core six categories (apparel and accessories; health and beauty; electronics, baby care; home, or food and grocery) online once a month or more. When frequency is more than once a month, frequency is “typically split between those who browse weekly, monthly, and somewhere in between,” the report said. 

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