June 1, 2010, 1:21 PM

Most consumers start their online shopping research with a search engine

57% of online shoppers begin their online shopping research with a search engine.

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57% of online shoppers begin their online shopping research with a search engine, suggest survey data from PowerReviews Inc., which sells ratings and review technology, and The E-Tailing Group, a research firm.

The survey found that 20% of shoppers start with a brand’s site and 18% begin at a retailer’s web site to compare several brands under one retail umbrella.

Few consumers are turning to their friends on social networks to begin their research, suggests the survey. Only 3% say they look to Facebook for product recommendations and 2% pose a question on Twitter.

Half of all the consumers surveyed say that half of their overall shopping, which includes online, in-store and catalog purchases, involves researching products online. And 82% of consumers say they are somewhat or very satisfied with the product and category information they typically find online.

The findings are based on online questionnaires sent to approximately 1,000 consumers in March. The survey respondents shop online at least four times a year and spend more than $250 with web retailers.

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