Many shoppers are now logging on and clicking straight to brand sites rather than using price comparison sites, according to a new report.
Dominic Yacoubian, who runs online electrical retailer www.247electrical.co.uk, said that the best prices for electrical goods are found on the price comparison sites but there is evidence consumers have been avoiding them in recent months.
He added that while business remains robust at 247electrical, the retailer has seen a significant (30%) fall in the number of referrals from the established price comparison sites despite offering the lowest deals on many goods.
"This is surprising," says Yacoubian. "With our economy looking very shaky now is the time to get the best deal on items that you need."
Since the credit crunch sparked fears of a recession at the end of last year, retailers have been reporting a slump in sales at the luxury end of the market.
"There has been a downturn in the demand for some of these products such as plasma screens and gaming consoles," says Yacoubian. "However, there is still strong demand for a whole range of white-good necessities such as washing machines, irons and microwaves.
"It might be something to do with a climate of recession worry but we have seen an increase in traffic and sales on our 247electrical site in recent months but a drop in the number of sales coming from price comparison sites."
Yacoubian - who is also a representative of IMRG, an industry body for global e-retailing - says the well know brand sites are being seen as something of a safe haven when consumers are being careful with their money.
"It is understandable shoppers want to 'play safe' when times get tough but sometimes this is a case of false economy. Price comparison sites have one major use - they drive prices down for the consumer. This means that retailers' margins are reduced but the consumer benefits from that."
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