When shoppers are going through the process of shopping and purchasing items, advertising has importance, but not as much as some other factors in influencing buying decisions. A survey from Ipsos [PDF] found that half of the more than 1,200 US adults say advertising is an important source of information when making a decision to buy.
This finding comes after research from Kantar showing that 38% of global consumers consider advertising a trusted source of brand and service information.
Ipsos’ survey reveals that despite the popularity of influencers with marketers and youth, the only source that fewer US adults believe is important in their buying decisions than advertising is online content from people they only know through the internet, such as influencers, bloggers or celebrities (39%). Moreover, 7 in 10 say they rarely (31%) or never (43%) purchase things they’ve seen people they don’t know (i.e influencers, bloggers, celebrities) using on social media.
On the other end of the spectrum, 8 in 10 respondents say that search engines are an important source of information in their buying decision making. Indeed, research from last year shows that search engines are one of the first places online shoppers go when they start their search for products.
With consumers more likely to leave a positive review of a product than a negative one, about three-quarters of adults say that shopper reviews on shopping websites are very (26%) or somewhat important (47%). To a lesser extent, respondents are also influenced by online content or reviews from people they know personally (69%).
In regards to product reviews, Bazaarvoice found that while consumers show a preference for reviews from subject matter experts in product areas such as electronics, financial services and automotive, they are satisfied with customer reviews when making a purchase decision for groceries or apparel.
One area of shopping that has seen an increase in consumer spending is video games. But, when Ipsos asked respondents their level of familiarity with activities for games and virtual events, relatively few were familiar with activities such as buying things like virtual costumes, clothing weapons or accessories for an avatar on a gaming or social platform (25%), attending free events in a virtual world like TikTok or Twitch (20%), attending paid events in a virtual world (18%) or buying virtual makeup or clothing for themselves to “wear” on Zoom calls (14%).
Find more survey results here.
About the Data: Results are based on an April 2021 survey of 1,284 US adults ages 18+.