Can’t remember where you saw that white floral designed maxi dress that you wanted to buy? Probably on social media. What about that great new phone you heard about? Probably social media too. What do you do before you decide to purchase a new laptop? Let me guess - check reviews on social media?
Social media has become an important part of our purchasing journey without us even knowing! In fact, according to paid survey results, a whooping average of 74% of purchases are actually influenced by social media! So, how exactly does social media affect our purchasing decision?
Seeing your friend recommend that sleek new phone on his Facebook will definitely ignite a desire of owning it yourself! Social media has simplified the way we share information with our friends. Peer recommendation is the most effective way social media affects our purchasing decisions. A research conducted by Forbes has shown that an astonishing 81% of respondents feel that recommendations and posts from their peers have directly affected their purchasing decisions! So the next time you end up buying a product due to peer recommendation, you know who is the real culprit!
How many times did the large number of “5 Stars” reviews about a product or company convinced you that this was the one for you? Definitely many times for me! The large number of good reviews alone is usually sufficient for one to believe in the quality of the product or company, sometimes even without actually reading the reviews themselves! However, one should always screen through at least a few reviews to ensure that they are genuine and not paid reviews.
Ever saw such photos on your Instagram feed before? I bet you did! Visual attraction is one of the strongest pulling factor for many when it comes to purchasing decisions! With social media, it is even easier for companies and individuals to share attractive photos of their products or service! This is especially common in the fashion and tourism industries, whereby looks are literally king! So the next time you have that urge to buy the same outfit that your favourite is wearing in his photo, know it is actually the magic of social media at work!
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What travels faster than light? News through social media! Just kidding, but seriously though, the speed at which information travels through social media is astonishing. Any viral trends can easily be spread around globally as fast as in a single day! This is another way that social media has affected our buying decisions! The latest fashion, technology or even lifestyle trends can easily become viral through social media, impacting what we choose to buy.
Information is everywhere on social media! We can find out anything we want through product review, comments, product description and even company description, the list is endless! Furthermore, social media offers something unique from official company websites - honest reviews. According to the PwC total retail survey 2016, 45% of respondents globally reported that reading reviews, comments and feedback influences their shopping behaviour the most. I guess knowlege is power after all!
We can’t deny the impact that social media has on purchasing decisions, although it can be said that the effect varies depending on the product categories itself. According to a Deloitte report, baby products are the ones which are most heavily influenced by social media, up to 56%. This is followed by home furnishings (40%), health/wellness (33%), automotive (32%), electronics (31%), apparel (29%), food/beverage (21%) and lastly, entertainment (18%).
Social media can be a double edged sword, depending on how the users and companies themselves decides to use it. We can’t control how companies choose to use it, but we can control how we use it. Users like you and me should be aware about how social media can affect our buying decisions so that we can make a more informed decision. Also, we have the responsibility to screen through the information on social media ourselves to ensure that it is legitimate and trustworthy.
Such insights from studies and reports were only possible with the help of online paid surveys and the respondents - which is you! A big thank you to all our members for playing a part in gathering insights for research studies by companies. Without your inputs, there would not be this informative article today! If you have not tried out paid surveys, why not try it today and start making a difference!
Till the next time,
The PanelPlace Team
social media influence, purchase decisions, market research