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User-generated content (UGC) has a strong influence on purchase decisions, according to a survey [download page] commissioned by TurnTo Networks and conducted by Ipsos. A slight majority of online shoppers surveyed noted that UGC is a very or extremely influential part of their purchase decisions, with the vast majority at least somewhat agreeing that it increases their purchase confidence.

The general impact of UGC is supported by primary research from MarketingCharts, in which recommendations from friends and family and consumer reviews online emerged as two of the leading purchase influencers for adults in the US.

Other benefits ascribed to UGC by shoppers in the TurnTo and Ipsos study include it:

  • Being more interesting than content created by the brand (65% at least somewhat agreeing);
  • Creating more authentic shopping experiences (67%); and
  • Encouraging engagement with a brand (61%).

The impact of UGC, meanwhile, is more strongly felt by younger than older respondents, per the study. That’s consistent with a body of research indicating that word-of-mouth has a bigger influence on younger than older consumers.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of online shoppers have submitted some type of user-generated content, per the report, with product reviews (71%) and ratings (69%) the most popular forms. More than one-quarter (28%) have posted on social media about a purchase, and those who do post on social media tend to do so frequently.

Among those who haven’t submitted user-generated content, the top reasons for not doing so are the lack of incentive to contribute (32%), it being too time-consuming (28%) and a general preference for just reading and viewing UGC (26%).

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,070 US consumers who had made an online purchase in the prior 12 months.

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