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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 20, 2012
Are you one of those who invariably wind up surfing the web for product details before you venture out into the marketplace? Most of us do, and now, it's official. Seven out of 10 tech buyers know the exact brand and model they intend to buy before entering the store, says the latest tech shopper report by Google India.

According to the report, the internet influences buyers' behaviour across all cities and towns, with 40% respondents saying they referenced information online to purchase technology products.

In fact, the trend is much more aggressive in tier I and tier II cities, with 83% respondents surfing the web before parting with the moolah, says the study, which covered 3,677 respondents.

For such cities, the Internet is now second only to the television in creating awareness for tech products. 

"The Internet is impacting final purchases, and is fast taking over what was traditionally the role of point-of-sale and in-store sales personnel," said Rajan Anandan, managing director (sales and operations), Google India. 

"The retailer's ability to influence a buyer's mind is diminishing. So, companies must look at engaging buyers online about their products and offerings."

The study, which was conducted across 12 cities in India, also revealed that research intensity was greater for high value products.

Buyers were largely interested in looking up product prices, followed by surfing photographs, reading specifications and reviews, watching videos, locating stores and visiting product comparison sites.

"Meanwhile, over 57% respondents change the purchase decision after surfing online," Anandan pointed out.

The products searched most are laptops, followed by mobile phones, digital cameras and televisions, according to the study conducted by marketing research firm Nielsen, on behalf of Google India.