How Reviews and Recommendations Influence Purchases

It’s hard for me to admit to taking advice from other people.

But when I need something new these days, the first place I turn is social media to ask for recommendations from friends. And the second place I turn is online reviews.

These two strategies came together beautifully just this past weekend when I polled my Facebook friends for holiday gift suggestions and then compared reviews on the products they suggested before choosing which ones to buy.

So, I don’t have to read the results of a study to know that social reviews and recommendations matter — I’m living proof! But for those of us who like to look at the hard data, here it is. This infographic presents the results of Social Media Link’s survey of over 21,000 respondents in the consumer influencer community.

Here are some interesting stats from the survey:

  • The most influential element of a review is a personal story.
  • 67% of respondents seek out recommendations from family and close friends when considering a purchase.
  • More respondents reported looking for reviews on their smartphones than on their laptops (59% versus 54%).
  • Just over half of respondents shared their recommendations on Facebook.

Read on for the full infographic, and when you’re done let me know in the comments below what influences your purchase decisions!


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