What Do People Use To Make Purchase Decisions?

According to a recent Harris Poll when it comes to getting information to help them with purchase Whisperdecisions, American adults of all ages use a mixture of traditional media and new media, including those that would constitute “push” (advertising and websites) and “pull” (information from neutral, informal communication).

What is most surprising is how few people (4%) use Social Networking sites to assist them in their purchase decision. I think this is the number to watch over the next year.

It is also interesting how many people rely on face-to-face conversations so while your are spending all your time and money on the internet, are your salespeople and representatives up to the challenge?

The most frequently identified methods of gathering information to make purchase decisions are:

  1. Using a company website (36%)
  2. Face-to-face communication with a salesperson or other company representative (22%)
  3. face-to-face communication with a person not associated with the company (21%)
  4. Advertising in print media (19%)
  5. Independent websites that have reviews (19%)
  6. Phone call to the company (16%)
  7. Online message boards, discussion forums, chat rooms, blogs and wikis (11%)
  8. Social networking sites to gather purchase-decision information (4%)

So if people do visit your website beware; an overwhelming majority (89%) of shoppers say they purposely stay away from small online retailers with negative customer reviews on the web, according to a survey from 1&1 Internet, conducted by MaCorr Research.

Further support comes from a recent study published by Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence, finds people still prefer real-life recommendartdations to online. The survey found that 34% of American consumers bought a product or service based on a recommendation from a friend or relative, while 25% bought based upon a recommendation from their spouse or partner. This compares to only 5% that bought a product based on a referral based on what a blogger had to say about it. The number was the same for a recommendation from a chat room.

Three Most Important Catalysts for a Recommendation

Most people base a recommendation on price according to Mintel.

  1. 64% say that price drives them to recommend a product or service
  2. Quality (55%)
  3. Convenience (33%)

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