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Baynote-Top-Holiday-Shopping-Influencers-Jan2014In its 4th annual holiday shopping survey, Baynote confirms the power of ratings and reviews, which research has shown most consumers trust as much as personal recommendations. The Baynote survey [download page], conducted in early December by the e-tailing group, asked respondents (all of whom own a smartphone and had made a holiday purchase online) how often a list of channels influenced their purchases, both online and in-store. Online ratings and reviews influenced the most respondents: 48% said they frequently or always influenced their online purchases, and 37% said the same about their in-store purchases.

Email promotions were the next-most influential for online purchases (influencing 35% of respondents’ purchases frequently or always), followed by Google search results that include pictures of products (31%) and paper catalogs (28%).

For in-store purchases, paper catalogs (30%) were the second-most influential channel after reviews, followed by email promotions (27%) and Google search results (20%).

While social channels appeared less of an influence on both online and offline purchases, the results indicate that Facebook influenced more shoppers than Pinterest, which in turn moved the needle more than Twitter. Notably, although Facebook topped that group, two-thirds of respondents separately agreed that they’re not in a shopping mindset when they’re using the platform.

On a demographic basis, the younger age groups (18-24, 25-34) reported being more likely than their older counterparts to have been frequently influenced by the various channels identified. While it’s somewhat predictable that social and mobile channels would prove more persuasive to the younger crowds, it’s interesting to see that paper catalogs influenced a greater share of 18-34-year-olds than any other age group.

About the Data: The survey was conducted among 1,000 respondents between December 3-6, 2013. The sample was evenly split between males and females. All respondents own a smartphone, and 65% own a tablet. All respondents had made a holiday purchase online.

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