Online shoppers are notably more likely to purchase big-ticket home items, including major appliances, directly from a Web site than they were 2 years ago, according to a study by
PriceGrabber, a Web-based comparison-shopping service. The study found that “unease with online merchants’ customer service and the fear of making large online purchases have all decreased” since a similar survey was taken in 2006.
According to the current survey of 1945 shoppers, taken in late March 2008, 24% said they would be apt to buy major appliances online today, compared with around half that number in 2006. While the desire to “touch and feel” large home items remains an important reason for people not buying off the Web, the percentage citing that reason has dropped over the two surveys to 56% from 70%.
However, the report notes that 25%, compared with 4% in 2006 indicated the cost of home delivery as the main reason they would not purchase online.