November 7, 2007, 12:00 AM

Two-thirds of consumers shop online before buying, new poll reports

66% of consumers tell a Harris Interactive poll conducted for Yahoo that they shop online before making an online or offline purchase. Of that group, 75% say that going online to research products and services is the first holiday shopping stop.

The Internet has become an important part of consumer holiday shopping behavior, with 66% of consumers telling a Harris Interactive poll conducted for Yahoo that they shop online before making an online or offline purchase. Of that group, 75% say that going online to research products and services is the first stop in their holiday shopping experience. 90% say they have a better overall shopping experience when they research products online before shopping in-store.

“The research reaffirms that the Internet has fundamentally changed the way consumers shop, becoming the first stop for many in the shopping process,” says Steven Feuling, retail category development officer for Yahoo. “It’s imperative for retailers to embrace this fundamental change and offer solutions which address the specific needs of the consumer as they research, browse and potentially buy online.”

The survey also reports that 57% of consumers plan to purchase at least a portion of their holiday gifts online this year. 27% say their holiday spending budgets will be less this year compared to last year. 79% of online shoppers use the Internet in order to find the best deal. In addition, 58% of holiday shoppers consider product reviews by other shoppers important very important or essential to their purchasing decision.

Harris Interactive surveyed 2,981 consumers age 18 or older online on behalf of Yahoo Shopping and Yahoo Retail between Oct. 16 and 18.

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