Word of Mouth Influences Large-ticket Item Purchases: Social Media More Influential Than Paid Media In Influencing Car and Technology Purchases

A recent study by S. Radoff Associates indicates that word of mouth carries significant weight in brand choices consumers make in large-ticket item purchases. One-half of consumers say word of mouth was a key influencer for car (50 percent), technology and electronics (49 percent) product choices they made in the past year.

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Bronx, NY (PRWEB) December 1, 2010

A recent study by S. Radoff Associates indicates that word of mouth carries significant weight in brand choices consumers make in large-ticket item purchases. One-half of consumers say word of mouth was a key influencer for car (50 percent), technology and electronics (49 percent) product choices they made in the past year.

Online and offline word of mouth were just as likely (29 percent, respectively) to influence technology and consumer electronics purchases. “While offline word of mouth plays a significant role in large-ticket item purchases, the impact of online word of mouth from consumer reviews, blogs and social networks has consistently increased over the past five years,” remarks Sandy Radoff, President of S. Radoff Associates.

Among social media sources, online reviews and ratings have had the most notable impact on large purchases. Consumers point out that online reviews influenced nearly one-quarter of technology and electronics purchases (24 percent) they made in the past year, particularly video cameras, smart phones and sound systems. Online reviews also influenced 17 percent of car purchases made last year.

The study traces a direct relationship between brands’ presence in social media and their sales. Consumers are four times more likely to point to social media sources influencing their car purchases made in the past year than paid media (21 percent vs. 5 percent). Social media has been more influential than paid media for technology purchases as well (26 percent vs. 7 percent).

“Brands need to consider the impact of word of mouth on sales as they gear up for the holiday shopping season,” indicates Radoff. “Those that can secure authentic positive reviews from their customers, will have a clear advantage. They will get higher returns on their marketing dollars,” she notes.

About The Large Purchase Study:

The Large Purchase Study was conducted online, in summer 2010. The survey is based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults (18+). Its margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. The study delved into information sources that influenced brand choices for recent large-ticket item purchases.

About S. Radoff Associates:

S. Radoff Associates is a premier full service quantitative market research firm established in 2002. S. Radoff Associates is dedicated to delivering superb client service and designing research that is both actionable and insightful. S. Radoff Associates provides market research services to a wide variety of organizations, from Fortune 100 companies to small and large not-for-profits. Clients include Accenture, Sovereign Bank, TIAA-CREF, the Wallace Foundation and the Ad Council.

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