When considering product purchase.

Written by GfK account executive, Filipe Bakaj Pennacchio

Accessing information from third parties has never been easier. Given that 47% of the global population was connected to the internet in 2016, almost half of the global population could potentially share their experiences and opinions on an online platform.

When it comes to shopping, consumer opinions, experiences and reviews are of great (and rising) importance. Some stats from GfK’s FutureBuy Australian 2016 data underline the impact of third parties in the buying process:

  • 38% said their social networks have become as important as other information sources, when making the best product choices (up 7% from 2015)
  • 44% agreed that online reviews from shoppers/users were an important factor in making shopping decisions
  • 42% of Asia Pacific participants stated that the opinions of family/friends are a very important factor in their shopping decisions (and 49% for 18-34 year olds).

These numbers are higher than the traditional methods stores use:

  • 27% agreed that flyers/store circulars play an important role in a purchase
  • 26% agreed that online advertising influences their purchase decisions.

The rise of third party influencers isn’t limited to online tools – physical word-of-mouth is by no means dead – however it did benefit significantly from them. Virtual channels such as video platforms, social media, instant messaging platforms, and blogs play a major role in increasing the reach of reviews from both opinion leaders and among peers.