• http://www.samuelbalsama.com Samuel Balsama

    Great data here that seems to further solidify the point that search is the sales tool while social is the customer service platform. I wonder how this may shift as Facebook begins to ramp up its site search as a viable engine for information retrieval? It’s obvious that the company would love more branded and keyword focused searches (search = ad revenue) and the goal, I’d imagine for Facebook, is to provide their users with a ecosystem for digital consumption. 2011 could be an interesting year in search!

  • http://www.ntoklo.com/ Gareth Mee

    The research findings clearly illustrate the evolution of the consumer’s buying journey and the increasing role social media and search is now playing. For me, the most interesting finding is that “the top motivation for consumers to use social media in their purchases process is to get other people’s opinions (31%).”

    Recommendations have been a key feature on ecommerce websites for a number of years now, most notably on Amazon. However, it’s the power of recommendations from friends that retailers must look to harness next, and at nToklo we believe 2011 will mark a new era for online shopping.

    According to the 2009 Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, recommendations from personal acquaintances are the most trusted form of advertising (90%). Leveraging the social community for friend recommendations within the retailer site needs to be the next evolutionary step to further influence purchasing decisions.

    Gareth Mee
    CEO, nToklo

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/kschachinger Kristine Schachinger

    Unless I read it wrong – as it is late at night – I have issue with this report because if you read how they defined “social media” they included user reviews which are not social media, but user generated content and so this would falsely skew the report to make it seem as though social has a much larger impact than I am sure it does. I would like to see what their data would say if they took out reviews. I would venture a guess that the effect of social would go way down.

    While I guess someone outside the industry could say – well reviews are social. We know that in an SEM study. we are looking to new measures of social media and reviews are not that.

  • http://blockbeta.com Robbin Block

    Very interesting data, but as always, how you apply it depends on the nature of your business. What gets searched and where people go for information depends heavily on the type of product or service. Looking for a great movie idea, well a consumer may just come across that reading a friend’s wall. Shopping for toothpaste? Brand awareness is going to come into play when they’re in the store. When seeking a dentist, they’re more likely to ask a close friend or family member, rather than do a general search and/or ask your online network.