Online recommendation overtakes word-of-mouth as biggest purchase influencer
Natalie Steers
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New research has revealed that online recommendation is now more important than traditional word-of-mouth.

The latest Eccomplished quarterly survey revealed that 31% of consumers read an online review before making a purchase compared with 23% seeking advice from friends and family. Additionally, 18% of those surveyed claimed to read comments on online articles before buying, whilst 14% checked a comparison website and read an article online.

Despite the hype, social media showed to have little impact with only 6% claiming to take advice from social networks. Having completed a purchase, only 10% of shoppers would be likely to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the brand or product on a social network, said the report.

Overall, 54% of respondents claimed to visit a marketplace like Amazon before making a purchase. Further findings from the report showed online marketplaces (57%) overtake high street sites (22%) and product owners’ sites (such as Apple or Burberry) as the place to make a purchase.

In the report’s final recommendations, Steve Rivers, MD at Ultimate Feed, said: “The connected consumer uses multiple devices and buys through multiple channels, with the vast majority of purchases taking place away from the retailer or brand owners' site.

“Explore the journey typical consumers are taking from initial inspiration to ultimate purchase and identity the key channels on which your products must be present: comparison shopping engines, marketplaces, affiliates.

“Ensure the information you place onto shopping sites, marketplaces and other channels is up to date and correct. It’s all about quality data. Nothing is more frustrating for a consumer than clicking through to a retailer’s site to find the product is actually out of stock. Even more galling and sometimes legally damaging is displaying the wrong price. Be accurate on descriptions, clear on price and up-front on delivery costs.” 


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