Study on the internet and consumer behavior

30906125 The good folks from Fleishmann-Hillard sent me some information about their European offices’ recent work on understanding how the Internet affects consumer behavior in Europe.

Key findings:

  • The Internet beat TV two to one on influence, and eight to one over print.
  • People ask other people for personal purchase advice, but for airline tickets and bigger ticket items, they prefer the corporate sites.
  • Only 28% of people trust the information they read online, and yet 66% say the web helps them make better decisions. Sounds like they use the web to get information but want someone in their life to verify the decision.
  • Different countries use the web differently: Germany uses more search; the UK has more social networking interest and the French, more digital communications with web cameras and instant messaging.

The full report on the research is free to download here.

7 comments on “Study on the internet and consumer behavior

  1. This is an interesting study, but the section on “Implications for Marketers and Communications Specialists” overlooks one of the most important things marketers can do with their digital communications: translate the content. According to, only 30% of internet users worldwide use English. Usage studies show that customers are four times more likely to purchase from websites in their language and they will spend twice as long on translated sites.

    U.S. companies fall woefully short in this area and it’s a no-brainer. How can they engage in a dialogue with consumers if they don’t speak to them in their own language?

  2. Janine,

    You raise a very good point. You say it’s a no brainer. Tell us more about that.


  3. It’s a no-brainer in the sense that customers are not likely to buy a product if they don’t have access to information about it that they can understand. If I am a Spanish speaker researching two products – Product A which has a Spanish website and Product B which only offers information in English – which one am I more likely to consider?

    Also, for a relatively small investment in translations, the number of new prospects can be in the millions.

    By the way, I really enjoy the Marketing Minute. Muchas gracias!

  4. Janine,

    Do you advocate that people translate their materials and website into multiple languages or just one or two? In today’s connected world…how would someone know which languages to choice?

    Or don’t they have to?

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the marketing minute….mi placer!


  5. Drew,

    It depends on the company and what markets they are present in and their growth plans.

    Most of the companies headquartered in my area would be well-served with having a Spanish version. For the most part, they don’t need multiple language versions but they would profit from providing at least some of the content in Spanish.

    In my opinion, it’s all about establishing relationships and monolingual communications often fall short of that goal.

    Hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend.

  6. Here in Florida, spanish is everywhere. Every company has spanish speaking employees. If you don’t you loose out on sales daily.

    just my 2 cents 🙂

  7. I dint know internet has so much affect on the Europeans.Nice study, enjoyed reading it.

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