Researching Online Prompts EU Consumers to Shift Brand Choices

30 January 2008

LONDON: Forty per cent of all European online shoppers have changed their mind about which brand to buy after researching choices on the web.

Or so claims the EIAA Mediascope Europe 2007 Study, a study published this week by the European Interactive Advertising Association.

The study, which charts the trends and spending patterns of Europe's online shoppers, reveals Britain to be the nation most influenced in its product choices when using the web as a research tool.

No fewer than 49% of Britons changed their minds about which brands to purchase after checking the alternatives via the internet. At the other end of the scale, the least likely to do so are Italians (27%).

Other data emerging from the report:

  • Over half of online shoppers (59%) say websites of well known brands are an important source of information when researching or considering a product or service.  
  • Search engines are considered more useful (76%) than personal recommendations (72%). 
  • 61% find price comparison websites a useful source of information, while 57% look to customer website reviews to help them choose. 
  • European consumers are most likely to change their mind as a result of online research when it comes to buying electrical goods - 59% changed their minds on brand - while 43% changed their mind when it came to booking holidays and travel.

Comments EIAA executive director Alison Fennah: "In comparing e-commerce behaviour across Europe, it's clear that as markets develop in online sophistication, shoppers consume a wider variety of marketing messages which influence their brand purchase decision. In response, marketers must develop ever more effective engagement strategies for their consumers."

The nations most likely be influenced by website research (in descending order) are:

UK 49%
Denmark 48%
Norway 44%
Netherlands 44%
Belgium 42%
Sweden 42%
Germany 37%
France 36%
Spain 34%
Italy 27%
European Average 40%

And the inevitable commercial underlying this research?

"Marketers need to be aware of how powerful online marketing can be in this process and ensure they engage with the right customers at the right time," hypes Fennah.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff