Online Consumer Behavior Shifts in a Challenging Economic Climate

Online Consumer Behavior Shifts in a Challenging Economic Climate

Consumers change their mindsets from “cutting back” to “spending cautiously”

Los Angeles, Calif., March 25, 2009 —®, a part of Experian, examines the shifts in consumer spending during this economic downturn in its latest Consumer Behavior Report. Results are based on a survey of 4,239 online consumers conducted from Feb. 10, 2009, to March 9, 2009. Survey data reveals that online consumers have shifted from cutting back to price-conscious spending and also are using the Internet to find the best deals.

Consumers cut back to price-conscious spending
In’s March 2009 survey, 50 percent of consumers indicated that they have made recent efforts to cut back because of the weakening U.S. economy. This represents a decrease from a similar survey conducted in October 2008, where 59 percent of all consumers surveyed answered the same question affirmatively. While some consumers are less concerned about cutting back, the majority of consumers remain focused on spending smarter online.

Recession drives consumers online
Survey data showed that online consumers spent more time online and used the Internet to research their purchases. One in four online consumers revealed that the recession caused them to spend more time online. Ninety-four percent of online consumers used the Internet to compare prices, 67 percent searched for coupons, and 52 percent visited social networks. Ninety-one percent of survey respondents indicated that they felt more confident about their product purchases after researching online, while another 37 percent purchased products over the Internet to help them suppress impulse buying.

Consumers take advantage of aggressive sales
Online consumers continue to purchase big-ticket items when the price is right. In the past few months, 53 percent of online consumers surveyed said they have taken or planned to take advantage of aggressive sales on big-ticket items in one or more of the following categories: electronics (30 percent), home improvement (20 percent), kitchen items (12 percent) and furniture (12 percent). Survey data also revealed that younger generations were more likely to take advantage of these sales. Forty percent of online consumers 18 to 34 years of age purchased or planned to purchase big-ticket electronics on sale, compared with only 26 percent of consumers 55 years of age or older. will continue to track online shopping trends and shifts in consumer behavior over the next three quarters. To view the full Consumer Behavior Report, which includes the full report on Economic Climate Driving Changes to Consumer Spending, please visit

About, part of Experian InteractiveSM, has established itself as one of the most trusted and effective online comparison shopping services, allowing approximately 26 million consumers each month to search and compare information that enables them to find the right product from the right retailer at the best price. Through continued innovation and a consistent focus on providing the best comparison shopping experience on the Internet, provides savvy shoppers access to millions of unique products and services from thousands of retailers and sellers in 25 product channels. The company also powers comparison shopping functionality for a network of leading Internet sites, including MSN Shopping, AOL Shopping,, iVillage, Comcast and CNET. The company offers comparison shopping in English (at, Spanish (at and Portuguese (at as well as international sites in Canada and the United Kingdom. is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. PriceGrabber is a registered trademark, and and BottomLinePrice™ are trademarks of, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About Experian
Experian® is a global leader in providing information, analytical and marketing services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.

Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organizations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage.

For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organizations from financial services, retail and catalog, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Experian has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and has operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Nottingham, UK. The Group employs approximately 15,500 people in 38 countries worldwide, supporting clients in more than 65 countries around the world. Revenue for the year ended March 31, 2008, was $4 billion.

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Experian and the marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Michelle Kane
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