June 20, 2003, 12:00 AM

Nearly half of e-shoppers start at aggregator sites, a BizRate survey says

47% of online shoppers start at shopping aggregator sites: with 18% starting at search engines, 17% at comparison sites, 7% at shopping portals and 6% at auctions. The remaining 53% start directly at a merchant’s site.

 

While most online shoppers go directly to a merchant’s site by typing in a URL, a growing number are starting their shopping journeys at shopping aggregator sites, says a new survey from comparison shopping provider BizRate.com Inc. A consumer survey last week showed that 47% of online shoppers start at shopping aggregator sites: 18% starting at search engines, 17% at comparison sites, 7% at shopping portals and 6% at auctions. The balance--53%--start directly at a merchant’s site. “Two years ago that was 70-30 merchants,” says Chuck Davis, CEO of BizRate. “Shopping on the web is so fragmented that aggregators will continue to play an important role. There will eventually be an equilibrium, but we’re not there yet.”

The BizRate poll also reports that 54% of consumers are focusing more on deals than they did last year and only 4% of respondents said they never comparison shop when they shop online. 44% said they compare prices most of the time and 20% said every time. The remaining 32% said they comparison shop some of the time.

That comparison shopping adds up to a lot of page visits, BizRate says. An online buyer visits four sites before making a purchase and visits the site where she buys 2.6 times. “There’s a deal-centricity going on and it has been since the economy got bumpy,” Davis says. “Rather than walking into deals, consumers are proactively seeking them.”

 

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