Hall and Partners explored the path to purchase for five CE products: cell phones, computers, digital cameras, digital music players and televisions, and found that online research time directly correlated to product price. As the price of a product increased so did the amount of time a consumer spent researching that product. The least amount of time spent researching was on cell phones at nine hours and the most times spent researching was 15 hours on televisions. For those who purchased, the average amount of time spent researching online was 12 hours.
Of the total $32.5 bln spent on the CE products tracked in this study, online research influenced 77%, or $25.1 bln. 73% of consumers said comparing prices of the same product at different stores is easy to do online and 64% said they preferred online because there is a wider variety of products. Forty-five% of those who research online and purchase offline use a search engine during the information-gathering process.