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BizReport : Research archives : June 09, 2009

Mintel: Offline WOM trumps online

New research from Mintel shows that despite the role the Internet plays in most of our lives, word of mouth is still more influential when used offline.

by Helen Leggatt

mintel logo.gifAccording to a new Mintel report, 34% of US consumers have purchased something based on a real-life recommendation from family or friends. A quarter made a purchase based on a partner or spouse's recommendation.

However, only 5% said they purchased a product or service based on the recommendation of a blogger or a chat room.

"It's interesting to find that as much time as we spend online, we still prefer a personal recommendation from someone we know and trust," said Chris Haack, senior analyst at Mintel. "Young adults are somewhat more likely to turn to the Internet for advice and referrals, but even they listen to their peers first."

When asked what they base their recommendations on, the emphasis for most people was price and convenience. Over 64% had recommended a product based on price, 55% based on quality and 33% convenience.

"The sheer number of people that purchase based on recommendations proves marketers need to pay attention to word of mouth," added Chris Haack. "It's becoming easier for businesses to lose control of their marketing messages, so companies need to carefully monitor and respond to consumer conversations about their brands."

Tags: convenience, Mintel, price, purchase decision, quality, recommendation, word of mouth

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