"A special kind of consumer has taken a major role in the marketplace -- the new info shopper," reports the Wall Street Journal:
These people just can't buy anything unless they first look it up online and get the lowdown.
These shoppers have the internet at work, typically hold information-based or office-park jobs, have some college or grad school, and are often making ends meet with two jobs, kids, and pets on a middle or upper-middle-class income.
They have become highly suspicious of many TV ads: in a shoppers survey we did, 78% of them said that ads no longer have enough information they need. So many of them search online for virtually everything. Window shoppers have become "Windows shoppers." They want, in the phrase often attributed to Dragnet's Joe Friday, "just the facts, ma'am."
The new info shopper was identified by researchers Penn, Schoen and Berland and the full findings are detailed in the Wall Street Journal
article. A whopping 92% of respondents, for instance, said they had more confidence in information they seek out online than anything coming from a sales assistant or other source.