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We Trust What We Read Online

Last week the NZ Herald published a very interesting article on our online social networking habits. We are said to be “obsessed” with online social networking sites and we are becoming more trusting of what we read online.

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“A Research International-TNS poll of local internet users found nine out of 10 participate in social networks and more than a quarter have made a major purchase based solely on online product reviews.” Source

Consumer behaviour is changing and “interactive marketing” sites are highly frequented and a trusted source for product and service reviews. Users are searching online and reading reviews on products found in discussion forums and blogs and making a purchase decisions based just on the reviews.

“Sinton presented the firm’s findings to an online marketing conference, Digital Now New Zealand 2009, in Auckland this week. He said 97 per cent of internet users now researched online before making a significant purchase. Twenty-eight per cent bought goods as a result of reviews they read on the web and 34 per cent said they changed their mind about a product after reading a review online.” Source

Technology companies like Vodafone and 2degrees say they have had success using social networking sites to communicate with consumers. Getting a response to a product query is said to be much faster from Twitter than phoning the company”s customer support line.

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