A new report from agency GroupM and comScore details the degree to which search and social media have become intertwined in the purchase path that consumers take across the Internet. The report is a follow-up to a similar study done in 2009.
GroupM and comScore looked at consumer behavior associated with purchase decisions in the electronics/telecommunications and consumer packaged goods categories. They found that while search dominates social media among consumers making buying decisions — nearly 60 percent of cases that end in a purchase begin with search – social media play an increasingly important role during consideration and especially after a purchase is made.
The report found that “40 percent of consumers who use search in their path to purchase are motivated to use social media to further their decision making process.”
Social boosts search CTRs
The phrase “social media” as defined here includes blogs, consumer reviews, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
The consumer behavior revealed in the study is complex. However the report supports the idea that social media are now critical for product or brand awareness and drive related, subsequent search behavior. GroupM stated that “when consumers were exposed to both search and social media influenced by a brand that overall search CTR went up by 94 percent.”
As one might expect, the “the top motivation of consumers to use social media in their purchase process is to get other people’s opinion (31 percent).” Almost half of those converting in the study used both search and social media, while the other half used search alone.
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