Every now and then, an article confirms what we already knew: Customers seek information online regarding their purchases. A recent Internet Retailing article, “Online reputation now a key deciding factor with Internet shoppers,” provided some great stats outlining just that. Sixty-five percent of consumers research a retailer’s reputation before purchasing, according to the article. Furthermore, these consumers are happy with consistent levels of customer service across the board, whether online or in stores.

We also learn a little bit about Brits and their online habits. Over 45 percent now read online reviews or recommendations. Interestingly, 32 percent are willing to publish an online product review, while only 19 percent would be willing to mail a letter to a retailer.

And it isn’t just the young folks who are jumping into the online social commerce world. Internet Retailing found that 70 percent of those over 55 research companies and products online before making purchases.

Oliver Maus, CEO of 1&1 Internet, concludes that Britons are learning to “do their homework before they buy online.” This is great news for social commerce, and the idea that customers are just as eager to “contribute as they are to consume market intelligence” means we can only expect things to get bigger from here on.

Important Stats:

65 percent of consumers check into an Internet retailer’s reputation before making a purchase. Most are now happy to receive the same level of service online as they do in-store.

46 percent of Britons now read online reviews or recommendations on a specific product before purchasing.

32 percent are willing and able to publish a review online — but only 19 percent would be prepared to write a letter to a retailer.

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