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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 01, 2016

New research highlights social's influence on path to purchase

Fresh off the press comes research from Crowdtap with insights into consumers' use of social media during the purchase cycle.

by Helen Leggatt

Crowdtap surveyed 500 adults in the U.S., with an average age of 36, to discover their shopping preferences and behaviors when online and instore. The findings highlight social media's influence during planning and purchasing stages of shopping.

Fewer consumers are now purchasing items as a direct result of television advertising, found Crowdtap's research. Instead, peer recommendations heavily influence shopping behavior early on in the purchase cycle and, during shopping and point of purchase, consumers showed a preference for connecting directly with brands on social media.

During the pre-purchase period, three-quarters of consumers visit Facebook to get recommendations and advice from family and friends. Crowdtap recommends retailers encourage peer-to-peer sharing on the social network to boost engagement.

While at the point of purchase in-store, more than 80% of consumers said they use their smartphone to compare prices across competitor websites and social media, and also to search for online coupons or loyalty programs.

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Post-purchase is when brands and retailers can continue the relationship and connect with customers by encouraging feedback on social media. Nearly half (47%) of consumers will write a review after a purchase. Furthermore, more than a third of consumers are looking for a loyal relationship with a brand where they can be heard, of which 71% prefer to share feedback via social media than in email surveys.

Tags: behavior, in-store, purchase cycle, retail, shoppers, social

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