Have you ever wished you could gain insight into how people research different types of products or services before purchasing them? What about obtaining an idea of what your audience looks like, or the path from researching (online/offline) to purchasing (online/offline)? Well, Google’s free interactive tool, The Consumer Barometer, can provide all the answers! This tool is brought to the public by TNS, IAB and Google.

The Consumer Barometer shows what role online search plays in the purchase process.  The data is collected from 25 countries (grouped by continent) and products are grouped by industry.  You can access The Consumer Barometer 2012 and The Consumer Barometer 2013, however unfortunately it’s not possible to compare 2012 and 2013 data due to changes in methodology.

How does it work?

The tool is very easy to use and navigate. On the home page you just need to choose the bubbles/sections and start the exploring your audience.  There are three sections to choose from: Browse, Graph and Data Map.

Browse: This leads you to a user-friendly interface, where you can choose exactly what data you want to see. You can find out how consumers access the Internet, how they research and purchase products and what the role of search engines in the purchase process is exactly.  Finally, you can easily compare behaviour across the countries. Let’s see an example:

Imagine you are wondering how consumers research and purchase business travel in South Africa and Israel (click image to enlarge):

graph

(The Consumer Barometer 2013)

Graph: This section lets you to create your own tailored graph. In a graph below we can see the percentage of purchasers who did research online before purchasing online.

Consumer barometer 2

(The Consumer Barometer 2013)

Data Map: This lets you explore the data structure with the data map. You choose data by clicking on relevant bubbles and finally you get a similar graph as above.

Consumer barometer 3

(The Consumer Barometer 2013)

So that’s how The Consumer Barometer works! The tool reveals a growing trend of ‘research online purchasing offline.’ Therefore, everyone in digital marketing should find it useful.

Have a play around at www.consumerbarometer.com. You’ll definitely gain some interesting insights about you audience!