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The Socialization of Online Commerce

Posted on 10.02.2011

E-commerce platform provider ChannelAdvisor recently released its fourth annual Global Consumer Shopping Habits Survey, with perhaps the most significant revelation being that peer-based product reviews are among the most important factors in the buying decisions of online shoppers.

Ninety percent of shoppers around the world who answered the survey said they read product reviews from other shoppers before buying, with 83 percent saying the reviews affect whether they actually purchase an item. In the United States alone, almost half of the respondents (48 percent) said they have posted an online review.

More than half (53 percent) of the respondents said that product comments posted to retailers’ Facebook and Twitter pages play a role in their buying decisions. More than one-third of the respondents (34 percent) said they have become fans of retailers on Facebook, and that number is much higher in the United States (46 percent). In addition, 83 percent said they are likely to visit a retailer’s website if it’s been recommended by a Facebook friend.

Other findings from the survey include that Google continues to be the clear number-one choice among online shoppers as a starting point for product searches; purchases made via mobile phone have more than tripled in the past year (to 31 percent); thirty percent of shoppers worldwide say they are using barcode scanning applications as an element in their buying decisions, and half of all respondents in the United State say they use daily deals sites frequently.

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