Consumers are more frequently basing their buying decisions on information gleaned from shopping Web sites, blogs, and social networking sites. At the same time, local and national television news broadcasts are losing their clout with consumers, the study found.Our take:
Not only are people using commercial shopping sites more - the figure has more than doubled since its 2006 study - but they are turning these into places to gather information from peers. Of those who visit shopping sites, 44% said they read consumer reviews and comments posted there, according to the "2008 US Media Myths & Realities" survey.
Bloggers of the world unite! As millenials would have told you for the past several years now, nobody makes a big purchase these days without not only doing "high-level" online research like reading manufacturer's web sites and checking prices, but also checking individual reviews for products from big retailers like Amazon.com as well as feedback sites like ePinions. However, the recent economic slowdown has made this kind of pre-shopping more important for a larger portion of the population too. Pre-shopping is no longer the domain of the young. Now, everybody that wants to save a buck or two must do the extra reserarch online, and that now includes reading personal blog reviews, and checking with the wisdom of the masses via social networking sites like Facebook and even Twitter.