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Most Russian users rely on the Internet for shopping

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I found some interesting information from Google. This is not the first study of this kind lately, the results are all different…
Search Online – Buying Offline
Google reveals key findings from its study on the extent to which the Internet and search services influence purchasing decisions for a product or service.
Google conducted a study among Internet users in 6 major Russian cities to analyze their online behavior in making various purchases offline. The results of the study demonstrate that online advertising is effective for offline businesses as well.
According to the study, 90% of users actively use online resources to research a product before they buy it. Of those, 77% go online to evaluate product or service quality and compare prices, 65% explore products and offers to make a final decision, and 63% look for a retail outlet to go shopping.
The data shows that Russian users consider search services as the main resource for finding information about a product/service and seller (87%), and only 50% go directly to manufacturers’ websites.
Vladimir Dolgov, Director of Google Russia, comments on the research results: "In fact, the use of search sites to research products or services is a growing factor influencing purchasing decisions. This explains why more and more companies, regardless of their size, are using contextual advertising in search results to increase brand, product or service awareness and drive user conversion to a particular site. Online advertising is affordable and measurable, and with more and more people searching online before they buy something, it makes more than sense for businesses of all levels to follow users online."
The effectiveness of online advertising is also highlighted by high response rates. More than 50% of users take action as a result of viewing contextual ads on search sites, such as viewing information about the advertised product or merchant.
According to the study, Google received the highest rating for user satisfaction with found information, and respondents plan to use it in the future. The study confirmed that the majority of users (57%) satisfied with the search results, turn to the same services for the next purchase.
Konstantin Kuzmin, Marketing Director of Google Russia: "People who actively use search go shopping having already made a decision. They are competent in their preferences, they know the product features and have already compared several offers from manufacturers and sellers. They know what, where and at what price they will purchase. Such shoppers are more likely to be able to influence other people’s opinions in choosing a particular product or store."
The study shows that consumers who do not use online searches rely most heavily on the opinions of their friends (36%) to make purchase choices. Traditional offline advertising is only taken into account by 20% of shoppers.
Russian users most often search online for information by purchasing consumer electronics (83%), followed by IT products/services (43%), travel (31%), and financial services (27%)
Understanding customer behavior, how they make decisions, and what source of information they consider most important is a key aspect of effectively marketing products and services. The main conclusion of this study is that offline businesses of all sizes can increase the effectiveness of their marketing efforts by using the Internet as a complete communication tool for their products.
Methodology : Quantitative research was conducted in October 2007 among over 1500 users in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Samara. The study focused on the behavior of online shopping and offline shopping in four areas: travel, finance, retail, information technology.

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