Nearly a third of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity—and of that number, 70 percent of 18-to-34 year olds had the highest preference for “peer” endorsement, according to new research from shopper-focused influencer marketing firm Collective Bias. The firm this week released results of a large-scale national survey investigating how U.S. consumers’ online behaviors impact in-store purchase decisions, fielded to nearly 14,000 adults in early March.
Only three percent of consumers would consider buying a product in-store if it was endorsed by a celebrity, but celebrity testimonials were just one of the traditional advertising vehicles to rank low among respondents. Those surveyed cited TV (7.4 percent), print (4.7 percent) and digital (4.5 percent) advertisements as the least influential forms of communication when shopping for products in-store. The results point to a growing ineffectiveness of traditional advertising and the need for brands to embrace alternative forms of marketing to drive sales.
The survey also uncovered other trends in digital and social behaviors and in-store shopping. Highlights include:
- Consumers are consulting blogs and social media on their mobile devices prior to shopping. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents have taken a blog review or social media post viewed on a smartphone or tablet into consideration while shopping in-store.
- Men are 2x more influenced by blog reviews than women. One in five men (18.3 percent) have had blog reviews influence in-store purchases, compared to only one in 10 women (9.2 percent) who have done the same.
- Men and women differ in which product categories they research online. U.S. male consumers (34.4 percent) have purchased consumer electronics in-store about twice as often as women (15.4 percent) as a result of reading a blog review or social media post.
- Twitter is not used first ormost often by consumers researching products online. Only 2 percent of respondents checked Twitter first when researching products, and less than 2 percent said Twitter had the most influence on their decision to complete an in-store purchase.
- But, Facebook and YouTube are the most persuasive channels. About 19 percent of consumers find Facebook to influence their purchasing decision most, with YouTube coming in second at nearly 18 percent. YouTube is especially popular with men (22.8 percent) compared to women (13.9 percent).
“With little data available on the current state of influencer marketing, the findings of this report strongly indicate that consumers are less engaged with advertisements and seemingly disingenuous celebrity endorsements,” said Bill Sussman, CEO of Collective Bias, in a news release. “As ad blocking continues to grow, it only further threatens the effectiveness of traditional ad techniques to deliver ROI, meaning brand marketers will need to turn to more effective alternatives such as influencer content.”
Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel