Two thirds of consumers won't purchase online without positive brand recommendation, according to a new report.
The study, conducted by E-consultancy, Logan Tod and immediate future, reveals that while 64% of respondents will reduce their spending generally in view of the deteriorating economic climate, 56% said their online spending would not be affected, or may actually increase.
The survey shows that consumers are influenced by online shopping due to competitive prices and advice including user reviews. 62% of respondents said that they are now more likely to consult reviews written by other web shoppers before buying.
Katy Howell, MD of social media specialist immediate future, said: "The research clearly highlights the importance of online interaction between consumers when faced with purchasing decisions. Whether it is with blogs, price comparison sites, or user reviews, brands need to understand and engage with social media to survive the expected economic downturn."
When comparing the different age groups, it is the 'silver surfers' (aged 55 and over), many of whom have paid off mortgages or enjoy higher disposable income, are the least concerned about the economic situation (43% said that the economy would not affect their spending).
Matthew Tod, Logan Tod CEO, explained: "It is clear from this research that online strategies will have to become far more sophisticated to weather the economic slowdown. A one size fits all strategy will no longer be the most effective and online retailers will have to start to segment their audience and match their marketing activity to each group".
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