Consumers Making Faster Decisions on Major Purchases

Consumers Making Faster Decisions on Major Purchases

October 5, 2016         Written By Natalie Rutledge

More shoppers are researching large purchases online and making decisions faster, according to Synchrony Financial’s 5th Annual Major Purchase Consumer Study.

The study, which surveyed 2,775 respondents, found 85% of shoppers are doing their research online–up from 80% last year–and using multiple resources. 68% visited retailer’s websites, more than 60% used search engines, over half used manufacturer’s sites, and 40% used aggregators to compare products and reviews.

Consumers are spending less time researching major purchases, defined as items costing $500 or more. From start to finish, customers are spending 63 days on average researching their purchases, down from 68 days in 2015.

Other key findings include:

  • 70% of shoppers visited the store after online research, and 28% used their mobile device while in the store. Most major purchases (82%) are still being made in-store.
  • Financing was an important consideration when choosing a merchant. One-third of shoppers researched financing options, and 60% decided on payment before making a purchase. Nearly half of all shoppers said they would have not made the purchase or gone to another retailer if financing wasn’t available.
  • Online purchase rose to 18% from 13%, driven by product availability, better deals and convenience. The top online purchase categories include music (65%), fitness equipment (46%) and electronics (37%).

“Major purchase shoppers are seeking maximum value in minimal time, taking a multi-faceted approach to navigate information and narrow options,” said Bart Schaller, EVP and chief marketing officer at Synchrony Financial. “Although shoppers are more decisive, they remain cautious about spending and carefully consider where to buy based on deal, product and financing availability.”

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 5, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor to various entities. Natalie can be contacted directly at
View all posts by Natalie Rutledge
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : Earn cash back twice. 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee; Cash Back match at the end of your first year; Social Security Alerts
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : No Annual Fee, Bonus Offer, Cash Back