Google has released a new study of how people shop for phones. It's a helpful category to understand, since a phone purchase is a critical decision for consumers in the digital age. Online information, especially while mobile, is making us pickier. It's also driving us to buy. But the biggest single influence in a phone purchase is still what happens in the store.
The biggest new trend demonstrated in this study is that consumers are using the Web to do their homework. Subjects in the study used online tools more than any other resource throughout the process of researching a new phone. Search dominated the process, which is nice news for Google.
The study also found that 60% of research sessions begin two or more weeks before purchase. 41% of consumers considered two different phone models, and 16% considered four or more. More than half of shoppers visited five or more sites while researching.
The one exception to this trend was online retailers. People rely on in-person recommendations from family and friends more than retailer sites. They also go directly to the OEM and carrier websites more than to a retail site like Amazon or Best Buy. Read More