October 28, 2010, 2:36 PM

Search is still king, but less so with young adult Facebook users

Facebook users 18-34 often find products through online social networks.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Lead Photo

Internet search is cited by the largest number of U.S. consumers, 52%, as being among the most common ways they find new products and services.

However, for young adults ages 18 to 34 that figure drops to 47%. Moreover, 17% of consumers in that age group cite online social networks as a common means of finding new products and services, compared to 8% for all consumers, according to a report released this week by Art Technology Group Inc., a provider of e-commerce technology and services.

The study—commissioned by ATG and based on a July 2010 survey of 1,002 U.S. consumers age 18 and over by online research firm MarketTools—also found that 29% of consumers in the 18-34 age group say they have already discovered a product or service through a social network, particularly Facebook. That percentage drops to 14.5% for all consumers in the study, an ATG spokesman says.

Among all consumers in the study, e-mail from retailers ranked as the second most-often cited means of finding new products and services, followed word of mouth. Following are 15 means of finding products and services, ranked in descending order by the percentage of all consumers in the study who cite them as common ways to find products and services:

● Search engines 52%

● E-mails from merchants 42%

● Word of mouth 31%

● Print advertisements 30%

● Online marketplace like Amazon or eBay 27%

● Online advertisements 21%

● Catalogs 20%

● Web site recommendations 18%

● Television advertisements 18%

● Direct mail 14%

● Price comparison service 13%

● In-store displays or signs 12%

● Links or information on social networking sites 8%

● Radio advertisements 5%

● Product placements or mentions on TV or movies 4%



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