A Boston-based marketing and consulting firm conducted two surveys in August and September 2014, trying to glean more information about how consumers make purchasing decisions for small, inexpensive purchases (under $10) compared to large, high-priced items (over $1,000). The researchers also sought to highlight some differences between making online versus in-store purchases.
Fifty-four percent of those surveyed conducted research prior to making a large item purchase, while only 27 percent conducted research when considering a small purchase, including a third who were looking exclusively for coupons. Given that larger items require more investment and perform valuable tasks, it is not surprising that consumers put more time into researching them.
Those making large purchases also looked to different resources when making their decisions. For major purchases, third-party reviewers were the leading resource (39 percent), followed by knowing and trusting the brand (22 percent), advice from family and friends (19 percent) and advice from a salesperson (11 percent).
By contrast, knowing and trusting the brand was a far more important factor when making small purchases (35 percent), followed by third-party reviews (31 percent), advice from friends and family (16 percent) and other (7 percent).
An equal number of consumers made large purchases online (19 percent) compared to in-store (18 percent). The leading categories for online purchases were Electronics (49 percent), followed by Travel (21 percent) and Other (12 percent). For in-store purchases, the major categories were Electronics (36 percent), then Home and Living and Other (17 percent).
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