A consumer report in March 2009 reveals that more than 90% of consumers feel more confident for the online shopping than for high street shopping when they search and purchase. Affiliate network LinkShare and research group Penn Schoen & Berland Associates delved into the effect of the recession on British consumer behaviours and interviewed consumers to find out how their online shopping patterns will change in 2009. A new genre of consumer, the Recession Shopper, has been thus named.

The survey indicates that 92% of respondents feel more confident for online information than sales people in-store. 81% of respondents do online research ‘most of the time’ before buying a product, and 78% of respondents think they do online research before purchasing is because they do not get enough information from TV advertisements to make a decision.

Recession Shoppers are consumers who turn from high street shopping to online shopping so as to resist increasing costs. They will not stop spending but will spend money more carefully. The South of England (comprising the South East, South West, London and the East of England) shows the strongest expected rise with 23% of consumers expecting to increase online shopping. The Midlands and Wales has the growth with 20% of consumers, and the North of England and Scotland gets the growth rise with 18% expecting to spend more online.

Among consumers’ sources to research and purchase, the most popular is price comparison engines, used by 75% of respondents, meaning that consumers are more cost-conscious. User reviews and professional review sites are respectively rated by 69% and 66% of respondents. Loyalty/reward sites and voucher sites are respectively used by 55% and 52% of respondents. While 43% of respondents say that they purchase after finding a relevant voucher, 26% of respondents say that they receive alert emails from voucher sites.

Overall, 31% of respondents will do more online shopping this year, and 58% of respondents will spend at least as much as they did last year.

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