Online coupons and product reviews by other women are the most influential in persuading our purchase decisions. That doesn't surprise me at all. With the grocery bill continuing to go up and up every week I have made it a regular part of my shopping routine to first go online and print out coupons for products I need that week. Coupons.com has become my go-to site for these deals.
I also regularly will print out online coupons while I'm visiting other sites when I see a product that I like. Hungry Girl is one of my favorites that sends me a daily newsletter, quite often with links to print out coupons from brands. And when Hungry Girl tells me about a new product, I'm looking for it on the shelf next time I'm in Wegmans. They were the first to introduce me to Thomas' new thin bagels that are only 100 calories! Love 'em!
The numbers in the study state that women are 77% more likely to look for products and 67% more likely to purchase them in a store after reading online reviews on a community forum or message board. 68% of the women use online coupons and 60% percent also say that these coupons are more influential on their purchases now than one year ago. Purchases of food and beverage, health and beauty and household products are the categories most women purchase from these influences.
51% said that consumer recommendations on websites are influential, 45% are influenced by emails from companies or brands and 41% from articles read online. It also revealed that 51% of women actively follow brands and retailers online through social media networks like Facebook and find them to be valuable communications channels. However, only 19% said that posts from friends influence them to make a purchase, and 11% cite posts from brands.
"Women want advice from other shoppers, but they also want to share their experiences and look for validation before making a purchase," says Jodi Kahn, executive vice president at iVillage. "They become much more loyal to a brand if you give them the tools to make the correct buying decision. Coupons and programs increase brand loyalty."
Just so happens that iVillage is scheduled to launch on Thursday a new parenting and a new beauty website. They claim these sites will make it easier for women to search for information and product reviews. We'll just have to check it out and let them know what we think. I'm also interested to hear from you women if you all agree with the findings of this survey. I welcome your thoughts and comments. What influences you the most?