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BizReport : Research archives : July 05, 2007

Online shoppers get involved in social media

Canadian Internet users who purchase products online are more likely to participate in online social and interactive activities than those who do not purchase online, shows a new report.

by Helen Leggatt

A link has been made between Canadian Internet user's propensity to shop online and their likely involvement in online social media such as blogs, social networks and consumer reviews.

According to research conducted by JC Williams Group, and sponsored by Visa and Yahoo Canada, 29 percent of Canadians who purchased online had written an online product review, compared with just 9 percent who did their shopping offline.

When it came to uploading video content to the Internet almost 20 percent of the Canadian online shoppers had done so versus just 8 percent of offline shoppers.

Of course, it could be argued that the outcome of the above scenarios was somewhat predictable when you consider that most online shoppers are web-savvy, confident users and potentially spend more time online than their offline-purchasing counterparts.

However, the influence of social media on the online buying process is evident. Sixty percent of online shoppers surveyed for the research said online consumer reviews were their most trusted source of product information, while 31 percent preferred magazines and newspapers.

"Consumers are increasingly turning to their online community or network for advice instead of traditional mass media," said Jim Okamura, senior partner at JC Williams Group. "It is indicative of the shift to an empowered consumer and the rapid fragmentation of media channels."

Tags: online shopping, social media, social networking

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