Consumers still look first to their friends and family for advice regarding their purchase decisions, finds a WSL/Strategic Retail survey. 69% of respondents said that family and friends help them choose what to buy, up 13% from 61% last year. Next on the list, manufacturer and retailer websites, each used by 55% of respondents. The study notes that retailer websites are a growing influence on consumers, having played second fiddle to manufacturer websites in prior surveys.
Traditional media such as TV and magazines are an information source for 42%, ahead of sales associates and e-mail messages from manufacturers and retailers, each at 32%. It’s interesting to note that traditional media ranks behind online source as an information source. While that may be the case, several studies point to TV advertising in particular as most effective in influencing consumer purchase decisions.
Despite recent survey findings that almost half of Americans engage with brands on social networks, just 26% of respondents to the WSL/Strategic Retail survey said they use social networks to find information about an item they’re considering purchasing. But, if Millennials (16-34) can be used as a leading indicator, social networks may prove a more influential information source in the future: Millennials were 54% more likely than the average respondent to say they turn to social media for product information.
About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 1500 adults and 200 teens aged 16-65+.