A majority of social shoppers trust user reviews and recommendations on social network sites more than other sites, according to a study released in October 2011 by Performics and conducted by ROI Research. Data from the “2011 Social Shopping Study” indicates that among participants who use social networks at least occasionally during the shopping process, 58% trust the recommendations they find on social networks more than other sites. Shopping sites (57%) and deal sites (53%) follow closely as trusted sources of product recommendations. According to the study, about one in 2 social shoppers are positively influenced by favorable reviews and recommendations. This compares to roughly 45% of social shoppers adversely influenced by negative reviews.
Shopping Sites Most Important During Process
Almost three in 4 (72%) social shoppers consider shopping sites to be an important part of the purchase process, about 25% more than those who report deal sites (58%) to be an important factor. Just four in 10 (41%) find social networks to be a significant part of the shopping process.
1 in 5 Use Sites Daily to Find Deals
Among active social networkers, nearly one in 5 (19%) turn to deal sites to find specials, coupons, or deals on a daily basis. Social networks (18%) and shopping sites (17%) follow closely as deal sources. While 15% of social shoppers use social networks daily to learn about new products, only one in 10 use social shopping sites on a daily basis for other key stages of the shopping process, including to research product information, read product reviews, compare products, and find product availability.
Shopping Sites Most Popular Before Purchase
Although social networks are most frequently used to learn about new products, the vast majority of social shoppers (87%) turn to shopping sites while searching for a product, while 83% use these sites right before committing to a purchase. This compares to roughly two-thirds of social shoppers who frequently use social networks or deal sites prior to purchasing a product. After the purchase, however, the focus shifts to social networks: almost six in 10 (59%) frequently share their experiences on social networks after the purchase, compared to 57% for shopping sites and 51% for deal sites.
- Almost seven in 10 (69%) social shoppers visit Amazon at least once a month, making it the most popular shopping site, ahead of eBay (53%) and retailer websites (52%). Search sites fare less well: just 27% visit Google shopping on a monthly basis, followed by Yahoo shopping (23%) and Bing shopping (13%).
- Close to half of social shoppers (47%) have a Groupon account, far more than those with a Living Social (27%) or Eversave (15%) account.
Nielsen: SocNet Users Most Trust Info from Consumers
Social network users are most likely to trust product and service information provided by other consumers, according to data released in October 2011 by NMIncite and The Nielsen Company. Sixty-three percent say consumer ratings are a preferred source for product information, while 62% say consumer reviews are a preferred source. Company websites come in a distant third, preferred by 50% of social network users for product and service information. Call center (47%) and email (45%) closely follow. Interestingly, company Facebook page (15%) and company Twitter (7%) are among the least preferred product information sources.
About the Data: The Performics survey was conducted among 1000 participants who were required to have an active social network account and use social networks at least occasionally in the shopping process. The online survey was in field from 9/27/11 to 10/4/11.