Online recommendations are becoming increasingly influential, especially compared with online advertising. Online advertising doesn’t stack up against its offline counterparts—83% of those surveyed cited TV advertising as having an impact on their buying decisions, but less than half mentioned online advertising among their top three. Even clicking through to another site has dropped from 72% to 59% over the last three years. (Only half would click more on more targeted ads, down from two-thirds last go round.)
Online recommendations and reviews, on the other hand, are on the way up:
Over half of all U.S. consumers and 69 percent of Millenials believe that online customer reviews and ratings influence their buying decisions more than any other type of online advertising, and 51 percent have purchased products based on an online recommendation. In fact, 24 percent of U.S. consumers would like to have an online service that recommends a product based on other consumers’ preferences.
Meanwhile, the mobile Internet is making great strides in separating the Internet from the perception of a desktop. Of those surveyed, a third used their phone as “an entertainment device” and nearly half (47%) of smart phone owners say their phone is one of their three “most valuable” media/entertainment products (up from 20% last year).
48% of those surveyed have data plans, and nearly all of them (88%) are using their phones to access the Internet. (The rest are paying too much .) Shopping is already making headway on the mobile Internet—15% have purchased something on their phones. Also popular: texting, online search, downloading apps and online GPS.
Clearly, both of these findings show us how the Internet is spreading not only in influence but in accessibility.
What do you think? How can better you use online recommendations to your or your clients’ advantages? Are you ready for the mobile Internet?