Social Media Is Key To Consumers’ Buying Decisions

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A new survey conducted by management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm Accenture, has highlighted once again the growing significance of social media for the retail industry and the increasing impact of mobile technology on consumers’ shopping habits.

The research, conducted in the UK and the US, found that out of the 2,000 people interviewed, 92% of them are more likely to purchase products from a brand that has established a presence on a social media channel. Facebook seems to be the most common platform consumers aged between 20 and 40 sign up to, as 67% of them identified it as their favourite social website. Being approached in the online space or via emails by a brand is what would make 80% of people buy from them, with mobile apps following closely as a major shopping driver, with 70%.

As to advertising, Internet ads seem to have the greatest impact on consumers, as nearly half of the respondents said that they would most likely consider a purchase after seeing one on the web, followed by radio commercials, print advertisements, mobile and TV ads.

The research also revealed that 72% of the respondents visit physical stores armed with their mobile devices to compare prices and most of them leave without buying anything. This could be explained by the fact that over half of consumers believe that online prices are lower than those on the high street, with just 20% claiming that they end up making a purchase in-store. The more competitive terms of products on the Internet send consumers in-store to compare prices and to take a closer look at the product (60%), but 48% of them eventually return home to purchase the items through the web.