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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 20, 2015

Online shoppers overwhelmed by choice

The huge amount of information online is crippling consumers' abilities to make decisions. This has led to many using just one or two trusted sites for content discovery and shopping, according to recent research from Carat.

by Helen Leggatt

Data from Carat's Consumer Connection System (CCS)* reveals that more than half (55%) of Internet users in the UK now use just a couple of sites instead of surfing hundreds for information and purchases. The top 5 most-trusted sites for content and shopping are BBC, Amazon, Google, ITV and eBay.

Around 4 in 10 say that they are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice online and that this makes it hard for them to make a purchase decision. A quarter (26%) find it hard to discover what they want due to having too much choice.

Instead, consumers are turning to recommendations from friends and trusted brands, says Dan Hagen, chief strategy officer at Carat.

"This opens several interesting opportunities and challenges for brands," he says. "Smart content, and crucially, distribution strategies combined with innovative approaches to partnership can help advertisers redefine their content strategies, cutting through this noise to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time, driving real business value."

Additional findings from the research include:

- 33% trust friends' recommendations more than ads, rising to 49% among Millennials;

- 44% look at content uploaded by friends at least once a week;

- 29% check posts shared by friends at least once a day;

- 33% of Millennials say they would visit a website if it is recommended via a social network.

* Carat's proprietary research and insight tool surveying 11,000 British consumers and their media habits.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer spending, ecommerce, Internet, research

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