A study conducted by shopping service Shopzilla finds that 59 percent of consumers are starting shopping online at a search engine rather than going directly to a merchant, up from 46 percent three years ago. Search engines would include general purpose search engines like Google or Yahoo, shopping search engines like Shopzilla, Froogle or Yahoo Shopping or auction sites like eBay.
OK, since the source of the data is a shopping search engine itself, you have to of course question the rosy rise. But a rise doesn't surprise me. There's more choice on the web, and search engines -- in particular shopping search engines -- make it easier to see the full spectrum of what's out there.
Also reported are stats saying that 87 percent of online shoppers are now comparing offerings of online retailers against catalog merchants and retail stores to get the best prices, compared to 71 percent three years ago. The survey involved 923 online buyers. More details in this press release.
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