Document Type

Journal Article


The use by consumers of the internet as a means of purchasing products and services seems to have fallen short of expectations that arose with consumer access to the internet. Evidence from online sales continues to show low conversion ratios, from enquiry to sale, in many online buying situations. As researchers search for answers to this problem several authors have proposed that the consumer information search process is not well understood when it comes to the internet. We review the literature on consumer information search behaviour focussing on information source utility, personal factors and product factors affecting consumer search behaviour and identify factors that limit the perceived value of online information in complex consumer buying decisions. We identify consumer frustrations from information that is inaccurate, poorly presented, insufficient or of dubious credibility and acts as an information roadblock, what then happens to their online search? We also argue that research in the context of subjectively evaluated “experience” type products e.g., recreational equipment, apparel, recreational travel, etc. will contribute to marketing theory through better understanding the complexity of consumer needs.