Social media creating new breed of analytical consumer
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Despite living in world of information overload, consumers are becoming more analytical in the way that they make decisions.

According to IBM’s survey of over 2,000 UK consumers, 62% believe that the decision making is easier than it was five years ago due to the rise of the internet and social media.

Online sources were found to aid decision making most with traditional TV and radio media following short whilst those aged between 18 and 24 were twice as likely to use social media to research purchases as the 35+ age bracket.

The report also revealed that when browsing across social media, forums and review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, consumers are increasingly applying cross-checking and filtering processes as standard.

Interestingly, despite this increase in user review sites, consumers were found to still judge these opinions in a traditional way. Over a third of consumers (35%) said that good spelling and grammar is an important factor when weighing up the value of user reviews with Generation Y in particular being turned off by poor spelling and grammar.

Vivian Braun, consumer analytics expert at IBM, said of the findings: “This research shows that, rather than struggling to deal with information overload, modern consumers are proactively using the abundance of data sources available to them to be more savvy about the decisions they make.

“In particular, the upcoming generation of consumers are very comfortable with jumping between multiple sites and forums, polling opinion and cross-referencing information to research everything from their latest music download to their next job.”

She added: “If businesses want to develop personal relationships with their target audiences – and they absolutely should do – then they need to understand what’s influencing their decision-making. To do this, the use of tools such as social media analytics – which enable companies to derive real-time insights into consumer preferences and drivers of behaviour – will inevitably become more widespread. Ultimately, as consumers get more analytical, so must the companies and organisations they interact with.”

About Natalie Steers


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