How Does Social Media Affect Purchase Decisions?

Social Media and e-Commerce: Do People Turn to Social Media Before Buying?

When you’re looking to purchase a new gadget, new home, new car or even new books, where do you usually turn to for advice or reviews? Gone are the days when you turn to paper directories to search for the nearest gadget shops because almost everything is right at your fingertips these days.

A couple of times have I turned to social media for reviews and opinions when I wanted to purchase electronic products such as phones and laptops. While I used to search the web (thanks good ole Google!) and religiously read blogs for reviews, I now turn to social media and ask my connections on Facebook and Twitter for their experience about a specific product or brand. It’s what you call lazy searching or lazy assessment. Most people have just developed the habit of asking “friends” and the people that we’re connected with about their thoughts and ideas about topics, products and services because we tend to “trust” our connections judgments over ads and brand-sponsored stories.

Facebook Survey 1: Best Smartphone: Samsung or Apple?

eCommerce and Social Media

Facebook Survey 1: Which is the best phone: Samsung or iPhone – 33 comments, 33 likes [see the whole thread here]

Me asking my friends on Facebook whether I should buy a Samsung Galaxy S3 or an iPhone 5. Due to various factors (mainly peer pressure), I eventually got myself the latter. Received over 30 comments and suggestions from friends. iPhone won. 

When I was looking to purchase a phone and have two options in mind – Samsung and iPhone – I immediately turned to my connections on Facebook and received some really interesting reviews.

Franky Branc. From a Samsung lover: if screen size is not an issue, iPhone all the way. I love what Android does that iPhone doesn’t but the SGS3 is a overhyped phone. If you can, better wait for Note 2 in November, than SGS3.

Juan Sena Wide screen…keyboard spacing is wide enough to sense the tap of your fingers….

Hana Abello Personally, (and I’ve tried both), mas smooth ang iphone for me. It’s like the integration of the hardware and software is seamless. Sorry, I’m not really very techy, but that’s pretty much how it feels. Plus, the S3′s size is very near na to that of the note. If you’re not going to be putting the S3 in your pocket, better go with the note na lang. Chaka mabilis magdepreciate ang value ng Samsung. (My friend bought an S2 in Feb for 29k, months before the release of S3. Nung narelease yung S3 here in PH, she asked around kung magkano patrade in. Ang sabi sa kanya ang value na lang daw ng S2 nya ay 18k.) Just my two cents.

Fitz Gerard Villafuerte I’m going for the iPhone… I have a friend who bought an SGS2, got a free iPhone 4S, and sold his SGS2 immediately because he liked iOS better daw.

Another friend had an iPhone 4, upgraded to an SGS2, and eventually traded it for an iPhone 4S. Again, he liked iOS better daw.

Can’t give any feedback on SGS3 though… wala akong kilalang gumagamit… but I can attest, everyone I know who had an SGS2, eventually got themselves an iPhone 4S.

Jenny Sim S3 is much way better for me..i can use it for one and a half day w/o charging.. Processor of S3 is has eye detector and audio sensor, like u can answer the call by just placing it near ur ear..apps are mostly free and its user friendly too.. lighter and classy..

When I wanted to buy a laptop and had two options – Sony or Mac – I knew just where to pop the question. It has received over 50 responses and feedback from friends who have experiences in both laptops. Needless to say, Mac won. Below are some of the most interesting responses.

Facebook Survey 2: Best Laptop: Mac or Sony? 

Research Social Media Effects on eCommerce

Facebook Survey 2: Which is better laptop: Sony or Mac? 3 likes, 49 comments [see the whole thread here]

Gay Aida Dumaguing depende sa access… if we’re talking about laptop DON’T BUY SONY… I got a SONY VIAIO…. it didn’t last 1 year..HAHAHA… but looks really good.

Tim Moore No decision – MacBook Air on for $600

Gay Aida Dumaguing Jonha: if you want quality and durability… I would suggest toshiba, asus, and dell. Never tried MAC yet so no comment..hahaha…. don’t be fooled by the look of sony… I FALL IN LOVE WITH SONY because of the look, when I got it… at first few months, I got these unusual noise… then next thing.. my screen go blinking – like a xmas tree… hahaha.. and now, well my brother is trying to fix it.

Lionel Faleiro I would avoid Sony. ASUS and Dell are good. Sony always have given problems in the past. Even Acer has good Configs. Mac is good if you do a lot of multimedia work like editing / photos/ movies . If you move around a lot and need something light then get the MacBook Air

Flavian Mihai On a PC you’ll never have the same experience that you have on a Mac. So, choose a Mac

Charles Neo lol both options are kinda poor imho… Sony is overpriced and Mac’s are not my kinda thing. But if I had to choose… Mac

Gina Romero Bear in mind, if you buy a mac and you want to stay with MS office (including Outlook) you will have to buy additional software (such as Outlook for mac) at extra cost.

Ted Wahler I am not smart enough to use anything except a mac ….but, there is a new Google laptop coming soon that may be my recommendation.

Lorie Therese Locara Jonha, Naku. Heard it from my tech support friends at Team Spike na Lenovo is the only way to go pag PC. My mom got herself a Samsung rig before and it conked out within her first week. I told her to get a Lenovo, worked like a charm ever since.

But yeah I’d go for a Mac before Lenovo anyday. xD Though, it sounds to me like Lenovos are sturdier than Macs lately.

Purchase Decisions Influenced By Social Media

It looks like I’m not the only one being influenced by social media when it comes to my purchase decisions as the following infographic from Hubspot, designed by Killer Infographics, shows a great illustration of the importance of social media in ecommerce and inbound marketing and 71% of people are likely to purchase based on social media referrals and online reviews. Below are some interesting stats of how the purchasing decisions are influenced by social media.

- 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase
- 79% of consumers now say they use a smartphone to help with shopping
- 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest the

In a study titled “Digital & Social Media in the Purchase Decision Process,” they’ve found that roughly one-third of shoppers said they were either introduced to a brand or product, or changed their opinion about a brand or product during the buying process, because of social media. What’s more, 22% of shoppers surveyed by the ARF said that social media was “important in my final purchase decision.”

71% More Likely to Purchase Based on Social Media Referrals [Infographic]

Consumers Turn to Social Media Purchase

Not only in purchasing items but social media has also influenced travel plans and below are some key figures.

- 29% of travellers have used mobile apps to find flight deals
- 92% of consumers say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends, family above all other forms of advertising
- % of Facebook users said their friends’ photos inspired their holiday choice and travel plans
- 85% of leisure travellers use their smartphone while abroad

32 Facts on How Social Media Influences Purchase Decisions

Radian6 has shared some really astounding statistics about how social media influences purchase decisions.

1. Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals (Hubspot)

2. Social networks influence nearly 50% of all IT decision makers (LinkedIn – learn more at TechConnect ’12)

3. Out of 53% of consumers who said they use Twitter to recommend companies or products in their Tweets, 48% bought that product or service (SproutSocial)

4. Twitter is the #1 online channel for influencing purchasing decisions surrounding electronics (Mashable)

5. 15,100,000 consumers go to social media channels before making purchase decisions (Knowledge Networks)

6. 49% of consumers use Facebook to search for restaurants (Mashable)

7. 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions (SproutSocial)

8. 58% of Facebook users expect offers, events or promotions when they become fans (Hubspot)

9. Facebook is the most effective platform to get consumers talking about products (SproutSocial)

10. Facebook is the #1 online channel for influencing the purchase of baby products (Mashable)

11. 79% of consumers like a Facebook company page because it offers discounts and incentives (Forbes)

12. 44% of automotive consumers conduct research on forums (Mashable)

13. 38,000,000 13 to 80 year olds in the U.S. said their purchasing decisions were influenced by social media (Knowledge Networks)

14. 81% of US respondents indicated that friends’ social media posts directly influenced their purchase decision (Forbes)

15. As of June 2011, there were 213,000,000 fans of Facebook Pages (Mashable)

16. 32.5% of women say they’re influenced by special offers on Facebook vs 29% on Twitter (Business2Community)

17. 78% of respondents said that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases (Forbes)

18. Moms are 45% more likely than other women to say they made a purchase from a recommendation on social(MarketingProfs)

19. 70% of active online adult social networkers shop online, 12% more likely than the average adult internet user(Nielsen)

20. 44% of social media savvy women said their trusted/favorite blogger influences their purchasing decision (Business2Community)

21. Nearly three-quarters of respondents consult Facebook in making those decisions,while one-half have tried new brands due to recommendations via social media (2012/7/17 Allfacebook, How Facebook Factors Into Decisions On Retail Purchases, Restaurants)

22. The fans who saw the messages visited Starbucks and purchased 38% more often than those who did not (2012/6/12 ComScore: “This is how to do social marketing)

23. Social media comments rank first among the 18-33 and 34-45 age groups (2012/6/12 Slideshare, 2012 shopper study P.11)

24. More than one third of respondents claimed that social content changed their minds about something they intended to buy.(2012/10/16 SocialTimes, How Social Content Changes the Way People Shop)

25. 76% of people rely on recommendations form friends to inform their purchases, 15% rely on advertising. Digitally Engaged: Shopper spent 27% more than those using traditional channels.  (2012/6/11, Why social media counts when it comes to FMCG [infographic])

26. 76% of consumers regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use. (2012/3/15 Hubspot, A Marketer’s Guide to Accumulating Awesome Online Reviews?)

27. 81% of Chinese youth check online comments before making a purchase decision. China’s netizens spend 41% of their online time on social network. (2011/12/5 We Are Social, Guide to Social, Digital, and Mobile in China, Dec 2011?)

28. Amazon Fans spent more than twice as much at Amazon as the average Internet user. Friends of Fans were also more likely to buy at Target with a lift of 27 percent compared to the control group. (2012/6/12 comScore, The Power of a Like 2 (what’s it worth)?)

29. 47% American say Facebook has a greatest impact on purchase behavior (2012/10/1 arraenetwork, 10 Wowing Social Media Statistics)

30.A whopping 93 percent of Facebook users have made or received shopping recommendations this holiday season. (2011/12/15 Allfacebook, 93% Of Facebook Users Share Shopping Suggestions This Season)

31. Consumers’ Insight: Social Media Endorsements are more effective than Paid Search Listings. (Oct 2012 Adobe, The State of Online Advertising p.12)

32. Friends referred by friends make better customers. They spend more (a 2x higher estimated lifetime value than customers from all other channels at One Kings Lane); convert better; and shop faster (2011/11/27 KPCB, Social Proof is the new marketing)

Has social media recently influenced your purchase decisions? Share with us in the comments below!


  1. agigil says

    Ei! I’m included! Most likely, I depend on my brother’s advice in choosing the best laptop available but yeah, I also ask some friends (via FB) if they have any good advice.


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