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Consumers trust brand-names when researching online

Woman typing on a keyboard

Online research methods are evolving, as more consumers turn to the websites of trusted brands for information regarding product purchases.

Outrider Australia, along with Global Reviews, confirmed in a recent study that Australians are using Internet searches more than ever for product research. An overwhelming 66 percent of participants use search engines to begin their research.

After the initial search, 49 percent of participants declared they would choose a link from a trusted brand, much higher than the 29 percent who said they’d visit a website that is relevant to the search term.

This is a marked change to the 2009 study, which discovered 40 percent of participants rate term relevancy as the most common rationale for product information. Only 39 percent believed trusted brands were of importance with product research.

“With so many Australians heading online, it is more important than ever to build your brand online with search,” Outrider Australia Commercial Manager Victor Navarro said.

The study found that online research becomes more likely with larger, more expensive items. All participants stated they would use the Internet to research an air conditioner and 91 percent would research lounge suites.  These more expensive items also increased the importance of product comparisons on additional websites.

A digital marketing strategy with search at its core is a cost effective way of directly targeting consumers where they are making their purchasing decisions,” Navarro said.

New to the study, social media was highlighted as an influencing factor for product research among 46 percent of high earner participants. Facebook and other social media weren’t as important with lower income earners as only 27 percent felt persuaded by the sites.