March 14, 2011, 2:38 PM

Want to sell more products? Make sure to impress shoppers’ friends and relatives.

A survey also finds that social networks are more trusted than product review sites.

Allison Enright

Editor

Lead Photo

Product recommendations from friends and relatives inspire consumers to visit e-commerce sites more often than does advice from product experts or retailers, suggest survey data from Wantlet Inc., a social commerce company. The findings are based on a survey of some 700 consumers.

75% of respondents say they are likely to visit a web page because of product recommendations. 67% of respondents say product recommendations made by family and friends carry the most weight when it comes to making a purchase decision; 62% say the same thing about product experts.

The survey finds that 74% of consumers are very much or somewhat more likely to buy a product when a friend or family member recommends it. 62% say the same about recommendations made by retailers and brands.

82% of consumers say the top reason they seek input on their shopping decisions is to find great deals. That was followed by getting more information and product comparison data (80%) and to locate retailers (74%).

The survey also finds that consumers consider recommendations from relatives and friends the most trustworthy. When asked to rate how much they trust the shopping advice they receive, 61% of consumers say they trust recommendations made by their neighbors somewhat or very much; 51% trust the shopping advice they read on product review web sites and blogs; 85% of respondents trust the shopping advice  they receive on Twitter, with 75% saying the same about Groupon and 64% about Facebook.

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