The Internet has transformed many aspects of life, but perhaps none more so than how we shop for goods and services. While it’s still nice to stop by a store to touch and see products, the convenience of online shopping can’t be beat. And for some services, such as booking travel or buying concert tickets, the ability to do so online has made the process much easier and more efficient.
The Nielsen Company conducted a survey in March 2010 and polled over 27,000 Internet* users in 55 markets from Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America to look at how consumers shop online: what they intend to buy, how they use various sites, the impact of social media and other factors that come into play when they are trying to decide how to spend their money. What we found was that there are some products bought online that are universal, and others that still have yet to build a significant share of trade. Further, while checking online reviews are popular for some products—particularly consumer electronics and cars—shoppers still trust the recommendations of friends and family most.