Shopping smarter – How global consumers use price comparison websites
July 14th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Shopping smarter – How global consumers use price comparison websites

YouGov Global Profiles, an audience intelligence tool consisting of data from 43 international markets, collects insights on a variety of data points relevant across sectors. This article takes a look at the different categories of products consumers from around the globe have used price comparison websites for, with a specific focus on five markets: the USA, Britain, India, UAE, and Denmark.

Across all markets, consumers have demonstrated a preference for using price comparison websites primarily for electronics. Mobile phones and accessories top the list, with over one-third (34%) of all consumers using price comparison websites for this category. One-quarter of consumers also use such websites for computers and accessories (26%) and other electronics (25%), including items like TVs, kitchen appliances, and cleaning appliances. Fashion and accessories, along with health and beauty products, are also compared online by 15% of all consumers.

In the United States, less than a fifth (17%) of consumers use price comparison websites for mobile phones and accessories and computers and accessories (18%). This is lower than the global average, suggesting that American consumers might be leveraging other sources or methods for price comparison. When it comes to consumer electronics items, only 16% of US consumers use these websites.

In contrast, Britain shows a unique trend where a significant proportion of consumers (45%) use price comparison websites for financial products, like savings accounts, mortgages, and insurance. This significantly exceeds the global average of 10%, indicating a strong British tendency to shop around for the best financial deals. However, usage of these platforms for categories like mobile phones, computers, and broader electronics hover around 16-19%, which are lower than the global averages.

Indian consumers show a high propensity to use price comparison websites, particularly for mobile phones and accessories, where nearly half of respondents (46%) use these platforms. This exceeds the global average and is notably higher than the rates seen in the USA and Britain. The usage of these sites for computers and accessories, electronics, and fashion is also above the global average, sitting at 31%, 31%, and 22%, respectively.

In the UAE, use of price comparison websites is relatively high across multiple categories. Over two in five consumers use these platforms for mobile phones and accessories (42%), with similar numbers for computers and accessories (30%) and electronics (28%). Consumers in the UAE also show a strong affinity towards price comparison sites in the fashion and accessories category, with nearly one in five of them (19%) using these websites, aligning closely with the global average.

Among the five markets under consideration, Denmark has the highest usage of price comparison websites for consumer electronics items (35%). The usage rates for mobile phones and accessories (41%) and computers and accessories (33%) are also above average. Notably, Denmark has the lowest number of consumers reporting that they have never used a price comparison website (18%), suggesting a high level of digital shopping savviness among Danish consumers.

Evidently, price comparison websites have carved out a significant space for themselves among global consumers, with usage varying across different product categories and markets. As online shopping continues to evolve, these platforms will undoubtedly continue to influence how and where consumers choose to spend their money.

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Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 48 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.