We Are Becoming Increasingly Reliant On Other People To Make Our Decisions For Us

Going with your gut is becoming a thing of the past, as more than half of America’s holiday shoppers took to their cell phones to look up a review or call a friend while standing in a physical store, according to Pew Internet (via TechCrunch). 

To help with purchasing decisions, adult cell phone owners either called a friend (38 per cent), looked up reviews of a product online (24 per cent), or looked up a price to see if they could get a better deal elsewhere (25 per cent). 

All told, 52 per cent of the group polled did one of these three things, either to get the best deal or because they were incapable of deciding for themselves.

Americans cell phones purchase

[credit provider=”Pewinternet.org” url=”http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/In-store-mobile-commerce/Findings.aspx”]

On one hand, this could be creating a generation of smarter shoppers: 37 per cent of shoppers who looked up information online ended up not buying the product they were researching. Another 19 per cent bought the product online, and 8 per cent even went to another store to make their purchase. Getting the best product at the best price is never a bad thing. 

But this could also crowd out lesser-known products that lack attention but not substance or value. And just because a computer or board game or the like has a high rating by others does not mean it’s a good choice for you. 

Furthermore, one out of five of these “online price matchers” ultimately made their most recent purchase online rather in person. 

With apps like Amazon.com’s Price Check, it seems we are moving towards a model that rewards people for not leaving their house or thinking for themselves — better to confer with a friend or with a stranger online than make our own choices.