Study: Search, Social Create Interlinked Purchase Path

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

MediaPost, 2/24/11

Every action creates a reaction. Research from GroupM Search and comScore reveals that 40% of consumers who use search in their path to purchase are motivated to use social media to complete their decision. Similarly, 46% of consumers who use social media in the purchase pathway are driven to use search to expand their knowledge about their likely purchase.

The analysis of online consumer engagement and purchase for leading advertisers, including Dell and others in the telecommunications and consumer packaged-goods categories, reveals where consumers begin their navigation toward a purchase. In fact, 58% of consumers start with search, outpacing company Web sites by 24% and social media by 18%.

In contrast to search, consumers who start with social media to conduct preliminary information gathering are more likely to include referrals from “friends” among social networks, a consistent and important element of the channel’s influence in the purchase pathway, according to the report.

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