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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 03, 2012

Online reviews trump peer-to-peer word of mouth

The opinion of a stranger would now appear to be more useful than that of a family member or friend, according to findings from the latest Eccomplished quarterly survey.

by Helen Leggatt

eccomplished_logo.pngWhile 23% of online shoppers said they asked their family's and friends' opinion to help them make a purchase decision, significantly more (31%) turned to online product reviews or endorsements.

According to Issue 1 of the Eccomplished Quarterly (.pdf), "The importance of peer-to-peer word of mouth is compounded further by more shoppers citing having read comments on an online article (18%) than reading an article itself (14%) to help them make a purchase decision."

Post-purchase, more consumers were likely to post an online review or complete an online rating (39%) than recommend to their friends and family (35%).

The role of social media was found to be minimal - just 6% turned to their networks to help make a purchase decision. Among younger generations this percent is higher at 11% for 18-34 year olds. Just 10% of those survey by Eccomplished said they would be likely to "Like" or "Follow" a brand or product on a social network by way of recommendation.

Tags: consumer insight, ecommerce, marketplace, online recommendations, online retail, online reviews, online shopping, purchase behavior, purchase decision, research, word of mouth

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  • Gen

    That's fascinating. 
    The problem with social networks is the comments get lost because the feed is timely, however by using a review platform, the review has more longevity and is less time dependent. More useful to look for a recommendation when you need it, rather than at the time a friend shares. 
    I also think as busy indivduals it's easy to look online for 5 mins that all the extra that comes with a social interaction / query from friends or family.



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