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While elites were busy shoveling money into Madoff's black box these past few years, strapped consumers have been poring over product spec sheets, third-party reviews and expert blog sites. This past holiday season they watched every dollar. A special kind of consumer has taken a major role in the marketplace -- the new info shopper.

Great article from the WSJ about folk who research thoroughly (& know how to online), distrust conventional advertising and lust for information regarding purchases. What this means:
* 58% would research online prior to purchase(even 24% said they are doing online research before buying shampoo!)
* 78% said that ads no longer have enough information they need
"Information shopping also means manufacturers have to get back to generating more information on their products, even offbeat factoids that are highly memorable if not always useful. Timex sold a lot of watches by showing its watches were still ticking after being thrown into a washing machine. To catch the eye of the info-shopping consumer, manufacturers should start hauling their wares up to Mt. Everest, drop them out of windows, put them in boiling water and reporting on how they do. In an info-seeking world, facts can again become the great differentiator.
New Info Shoppers are bigger than a microtrend. They represent a broad shift in the marketplace brought about by the Internet, higher education, and changing economic times. But the question is when is the marketplace is going to really catch up to them."

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