According to a Nielsen global survey, the Internet is an important influence on consumers interested in buying new products in categories like electronics (81%), appliances (77%), books (70%) and music (69%). The trend is catching on in consumption categories too—such as food and beverages (62%)—with respondents in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa most engaged in online decision-making.
More than half of all global respondents consider the Internet important when it comes to purchasing new clothing (69%) and cars (68%).
Social media is also an integral decision-making tool for consumers hunting for new products.
“Consumers are increasingly finding the Internet and mobile vehicles just as compelling as other more traditional advertising,” said Rob Wengel, senior vice president at Nielsen Innovation Analytics. “Social media can also be an effective soundboard to hear about potential issues or to identify future innovation opportunities. As reliance on social media continues to broaden for CPG products, it is especially impactful when used in combination with TV to enhance recall, facilitate one-on-one consumer engagement and dialogue, and listen to what consumers are saying.”
In the US, almost sixty percent (59%) of respondents said that they were much more or somewhat more likely to purchase a new product after learning about it through active Internet research, an Internet forum (30%), a brand or manufacturer’s website (45%), or through an article on a frequently visited website (39%). Respondents also said they were much more or somewhat likely to purchase a new product after learning about it through social media (30%), a Web ad (29%) or a video posted on a video-sharing website (27%).