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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : May 19, 2010

Study: Online hubs change women's offline shopping habits

When it comes to shopping, we've all heard the myths of one woman finding a product, telling another and a wave of new consumers hopping on that product bandwagon. Turns out that myth may be closer to the truth than any of us thought, at least according to a recent iVillage and SheSpeaks study. Researchers found that about three-quarters (77%) of women are influenced to try and buy new products from other female shoppers in the online world.

by Kristina Knight

shespeaks.jpgWhere are these women congregating to find the newest and best products? Online social networks. Researchers found that women are more likely to buy a new product after reading an online review (in community forums) or make an in-store purchase after reading a community forum report on the item. About half (51%) of female shoppers are already following their favorite brands through socnets like Facebook and Twitter, but the study notes that women are less likely to make a purchase because of a social product page.

Instead, women are looking for coupons (68%), online product reviews (61%) and company emails (45%) to help them make purchasing decisions.

"When it comes to building preference and motivating in-store sales, digital is emerging as a strong contender. If brands can motivate trusted customer recommendations and couple them with a 'call to action' such as a coupon, it's a powerful one-two punch that drives sales and advocacy," said Aliza Freud, CEO of SheSpeaks.

Other interesting findings from the study include:

• 77% of women are influenced by peer recommendations
• 61% of women are influenced by consumer reviews on shopping sites
• Coupons push the most purchases (68%)
• More than 80% of women have visited a 'superstore' website in the past 30 days
• Prior to actually shopping, women spend between 6 and 60 minutes 'preparing' for the shopping expedition by looking up recommendations, looking for coupons or checking the latest reviews for different products

Tags: ecommerce, females, iVillage, online shopping, SheSpeaks, social networks, social shopping

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  • Becca

    Interesting results for sure, although I must say that I personally do rely on 'socnets' for some shopping options.'s Wishlist shopping application on Facebook has been a great way for me to share fashion items and the like with some of my friends, even if none of us end up buying them.

  • The recession created a new type of shopper, who was now prepared to not only haggle for better prices, but research their options further in order to get the best deal



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