October 12, 2006, 12:00 AM

78% of online shoppers recommend retail sites, study says

More than three-quarters of online shoppers are recommending retail web sites they like to other shoppers, and 55% are forwarding their e-mail marketing messages, Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst for Nielsen/NetRatings, said at Shop.org.

 

More than three-quarters of online shoppers are recommending retail web sites they like to other shoppers, and 55% are forwarding their e-mail marketing messages to friends and family, Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst for Nielsen/NetRatings said at Shop.org.

But the online shoppers who most frequently recommend retail sites are not necessarily big online spenders, she adds. “Moderate recommenders make up the majority of online shoppers and tend to spend more online,” she says.

Dougherty divided word-of-mouth marketing into three online consumer segments: about 24% are “passive” and do not engage in word-of-mouth marketing; 64% are “sharing” and make mild recommendations and 12% are “heavy influencers” who serve as vocal advocates of their favorite e-retailers.

“Influencers are younger and more affluent,” Dougherty says. She notes that about 57% of them have been shopping online for more than six years with an average spending level of $77.49 in June 2006, when Nielsen studied word-of-mouth activity, compared to an average spend of $48.46 for consumes in the passive group and $62.90 for those in the sharing group.

But average spend declined for those who make recommendations most frequently, she says. Those who recommended a retail web site once a month or less had an average June spend of $137, a figure that rose to $190 for those who made recommendations two or three times a month. But among those who recommended a retail web site at least once a week, the average spend dropped to $138.

 

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