INFOGRAPHIC: How Facebook Factors Into Decisions On Retail Purchases, Restaurants

By David Cohen 

A study of the impact of mobile and social media habits of more than 6,500 U.S. consumers when making decisions on retail purchases or restaurants found that nearly three-quarters of respondents consult Facebook in making those decisions, while one-half have tried new brands due to recommendations via social media.

The study, from customer experience management solutions provider Empathica, also found that:

  • 55 percent of respondents were willing to like brands on Facebook, but women (64 percent) were more likely to do so than men (47 percent).
  • About 89 percent of respondents who shared positive experiences with brands via social media in the past three months also liked brands on Facebook, while just 36 percent of those who did not share positive experiences with brands via social media in the past three months did so.
  • 82 percent of respondents were willing to engage retail and restaurant brands in online conversations if they believed it would improve future experiences, but only 62 percent believe brands monitor online conversations, and just 30 percent believe brands act on customer feedback.

Empathica Chief Customer Officer Gary Edwards said:

Today’s consumers routinely perform a variety of in-store activities on smartphones and mobile devices. Whether it’s comparing prices or scanning a QR code for a discount, brands that ignore the use of mobile technology in customer and guest experiences will miss key opportunities to connect with a large pool of potential brand advocates.

One of the key takeaways from our latest research is that brands need to proactively engage with their customers transparently through mobile and social channels — and even encourage negative reviews to be made public. The credibility brands gain from publishing all reviews far exceeds the amount of damage that can be inflicted by the occasional negative comment. Negative user reviews are not necessarily a brand destroyer.