Israelis spend more time than Americans and Europeans researching products
online but are likelier to complete their purchases at bricks-and-mortar
outlets, Google’s Consumer Commerce Barometer reported Wednesday.
study, which surveyed consumers in Israel, the US, UK, Germany, France and
Italy, found that Israelis had the highest preference for researching travel,
technology, cinema tickets and personal appliances online, but the lowest
preference for researching books, toys and clothing accessories using that same
Israelis ranked number one for online cinema ticket and personal
appliance purchases, but ranked in the bottom or close to the bottom in each of
the other seven fields. Eighty-seven percent of Israelis said they researched
travel before ordering a flight or accommodation, but only 49% completed their
purchases online. In comparison, 86% of Brits researched travel over the
Internet and 75% completed purchases online.
These findings support those
made by a McKinsey study on Israel’s Internet economy early last year, which
estimated that Israelis bought NIS 20 billion worth of goods at land-based
stores after first researching the products online.
Google believes these
habits will eventually disappear, Paul Solomon, head of communications for the
Internet giant’s Israel branch, told The Jerusalem Post
in an interview
conducted via Google+’s Hangout video-chat platform.
inevitably increasing, and as the Internet becomes more influential in our
lives, it will become more influential in our purchasing decisions as well,” he
Consumers unsurprisingly used mobile Internet far less than regular
Internet, Google’s study showed, although Israelis were found to be the most
advanced when it came to mobile research – no matter what the product. For
example, 9% of them used their phones to research travel, compared to 2%-5% in
the other countries, and 8% used phones to research finance and real estate,
double second-placed Britain with 4%.
If you are Israeli and have ever
used your mobile device to search for more information about products while
shopping, then it turns out you are not alone.
Thirty-nine percent of
Israelis admitted to using an iPhone, Android or other smartphone device to
obtain information about products while inside a store, compared to 35% of
Americans, 31% of Brits, 21% of Italians, 20% of French and 14% of
The study also compared Israelis’ and Brits’ research and
purchase behavior in the area of hotel stays.
While the same amount of
Israeli and Brits (67%) researched accommodation online, only 52% of Israelis
purchased a hotel stay online, compared to 77% of Brits. Both citizenries were
most likely to start their search on travel-related websites, followed by search
engines, word of mouth and product/price comparison sites.
businesses could draw three conclusions from the report: they need the right
digital assets, such as mobile-adaptive websites; they must be able to promote
their digital assets using search-engine marketing to reach the people searching
for their particular service; and they should consider selling online, if they
do not already do so, because the data suggest that Israelis will purchase
online when given a proper opportunity.
Finally, Solomon suggested that
social networks also take note, saying, “For all their popularity, they are not
yet playing a major part in the commercial decisionmaking process.”