September 24, 2010, 2:01 PM

Online shoppers are spending more time on manufacturer web sites

Forrester says consumers who visit manufacturer sites focus more on brand than price.

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9% of online shoppers visit manufacturer web sites to research products and purchases, up from 6% last year, according to a new study from Forrester Research Inc. and e-commerce technology vendor Channel Intelligence Inc.

Forrester and Channel Intelligence based the findings on surveys of more than 6,800 consumers who were asked their views when visiting 10 consumer electronics and five home product manufacturing sites between April and June.

“The Who, When and Why of Visits to Manufacturer Web Sites” report finds that shoppers who visit manufacturer sites worry less about price than other online shoppers. The data show that 52% of all online shoppers rate price as more important than brands, compared with 33% of manufacturer site visitors. 81% of shoppers visiting manufacturer sites say they stick with brands they like, compared with 63% of all online shoppers who say the same.

Nearly two-thirds of manufacturer site visitors say they seek product information, suggesting that the sites should focus on detailed product information, the report says. It goes on to say that 45% of manufacturer site visitors who later made a purchase did so online from other retailers. Another 17% of consumers bought the product from the manufacturer directly.

As most online sales are not completed on manufacturer sites, the report urges manufacturers to give shoppers more buying information. Forrester suggests that manufacturers offer store location tools—for instance, a list of online retailers that carry the manufacturer’s products—along with information about what products are in stock and item prices. “This allows shoppers to quickly and efficiently find the best price at the online retailer they like best,” the report says.

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