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80 Percent of Online Shoppers Judge Online Reputation of Retailers before Purchase

December 15
16:57 2008

Web Host NewsPhiladelphia, PA – Online reputation matters for the majority of North American consumers, according to research released today by 1&1 Internet Inc., the world’s largest web host by known servers. The survey, conducted by MaCorr Research, of over 1000 North American consumers(1) found that 80 percent of consumers regularly check the Internet for material about an online retailer, or e-tailer, before committing to a purchase. It appears that consumer-created content, such as online reviews or blog posts, has never been so highly valued, with 9 out of 10 consumers reading online reviews or recommendations on a specific product before buying it. The research also found that today’s consumers are eager to share their online shopping experiences on the Internet, with over half (63 percent) of us willing to publish a review online.

In today’s economic climate, it is not surprising that shoppers are seeking more reliable and value-conscious experiences from e-tailers. However, it appears that the average consumer now takes into account the online image of the online retailers available to them. The survey shows that 91 percent of online shoppers admit to searching the Internet for material relating to an e-tailer in order to judge their ‘online reputation’ or reputability before clicking ‘Order.’ In fact, most consumers (89 percent) intentionally stay away from companies with negative online reviews and postings. A further two-thirds of consumers purposely buy elsewhere after reading negative reviews of an e-tailer.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet Inc., said, “Consumers have clearly learned to do their homework before buying online. It is significant that the average online shopper will now invest time in appraising a retailer’s online reputation as an integral part of their buying decision.”

Interestingly, shoppers appear to be just as eager to collaborate and share their shopping experiences as they are to leverage those of others’. The proliferation of social networking and growth of consumer review and advice websites, has given consumers greater confidence to share their knowledge. For example, the survey found that over half of consumers (63 percent) are willing to publish an online review or opinion of an e-tailer, while only 24 percent would consider writing a letter to the retailer in question. In 2008, the most popular method of sharing online shopping experiences remains word-of-mouth with over three-quarters of consumers regularly sharing online shopping
experiences with friends and family.

1&1’s survey also reveals that consumers are confident in opting for the web during the holiday shopping season. Some 7 out of 10 consumers are confident that they receive the same standard of service online as they do ‘over the counter.’ For consumers the biggest concerns regarding online retail purchases lies in the security of the Internet transaction. Some 49 percent of online shoppers are concerned about security, with another 34 percent concerned on the speed of delivery from these e-tailers.

Mauss added, “At a time of online advertising-overload, consumers clearly see great value in sharing their knowledge. This is perhaps contributing to their growing confidence to experiment with smaller online retailers. It is impressive that consumers are as keen to contribute as they are to consume market intelligence.”

1&1 Internet, the world’s largest web host by known servers, provides high quality web hosting services to online businesses. 1&1 currently holds over 7.8 million customer contracts worldwide and manages over 10 million domain names.

For more information on 1&1 Internet Inc. visit the website at www.1and1.com

(1) 1,071 North American adults interviewed by MaCorr Research in November 2008 via electronic feedback form

1&1 Internet Inc.
1&1 Internet Inc. is a subsidiary of United Internet, a profitable public company with a market cap of $2 billion. 1&1 was founded in 1988 and hosts more than 10 million domain names, while more than 55,000 servers run on the company’s five state-of-the-art data centers. 1&1’s global community is over 7.8 million customer contracts strong. The company’s U.S. headquarters is located in Chesterbrook, PA.

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