Active online shoppers increasingly rely on online product reviews as a key element in their buying decisions, a new survey released today has revealed.
The rise of the ‘social shopper’ appears to be continuing, as the survey, conducted by global e-commerce platform provider ChannelAdvisor, also found that consumers are increasingly interacting directly with retailers through social media sites like Facebook and Google+.
Over 600 participants responded to the research and 90 per cent said they read product reviews from other shoppers before buying, while 83 per cent acknowledged that reviews affect whether they actually purchase an item.
As the number of retailers focusing their marketing efforts on multichannel offerings increases, 83 per cent of respondents claimed that they are likely to visit a retailer’s website if it is recommended by a Facebook friend.
Barcode scanning applications was seen as an element in the buying decision of 30 per cent of those surveyed but price and in-stock availability are still the deciding factors of any purchase.
ChannelAdvisor’s research follows a trial by online grocer Ocado of an integrated window display at St Paul’s One New Change, where customers could browse through products in-store, scan their barcode and then get them delivered to their door.
Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, explained that the findings were an important lesson for growing multichannel retailers.
“Consumers are increasingly diversifying the places they shop online, which is reflected within this survey and further highlights the need for retailers to expand their reach on every e-commerce channel, including mobile and social,” he said.
“The development of emerging channels within the past year is staggering, supporting our belief that these channels are more than just passing trends. The survey reveals how influential social networks have become, as well as their potential to drive e-commerce moving forward.”