September 11, 2009, 12:00 AM

67% of online shoppers buy more when friends give a nod, study says

More than half of online shoppers are more likely to return to a retail site with a social community, and shoppers say recommendations from friends are twice as valuable as recommendations from retailers, The E-tailing Group says in a new study.

83% of consumers who frequently shop on the web are interested in sharing information about purchases in online social communities, and 67% say they spend more online after getting recommendations from their online community friends, The E-tailing Group Inc. says in a new report.

The study, “Social Commerce: Conversations Among Consumers,” is based on a survey conducted last month of 1,000 frequent online shoppers. The study was sponsored by Ripple6, a subsidiary of Gannett Co. Inc. that provides retailers with online platforms for sponsoring social communities.

The study also notes:

  • Opinions from participants in social communities influence purchasing decisions for 74% of online shoppers.
  • 62% of online shoppers are more likely to return to a retail site that offers a social community.
  • Online shoppers say recommendations from friends in social communities are twice as valuable as recommendations from retailers.
  • 41% of survey respondents say they would be inclined to become active participants in online communities that share information about their favorite products.

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