This study investigates consumers' importance evaluation and usage of the Internet as an information source, compared with other traditional information sources. The main issue is the extent to which experience products can be transformed so as to be searchable on the Internet. The results of a web-based survey showed that consumers of experience products tended to use more online information than those of search products. Online information sources from other consumers and neutral sources were perceived to be more important and were used more often by the consumers of experience products; whereas retailer/manufacturer websites were perceived to be more useful by consumers of search products. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease-of-use, market mavenism, and usage of offline information sources were also positively related to the usage of online information.
Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 25(4), 449-467