Report: Social Media’s Limited Effect On Purchase Decisions

We just published a new Temkin Group report, Social Media’s Limited Effect On Purchase Decisions.

Social media is a very popular topic, so we explored the role that it plays in how consumers make their purchase decisions.

Here’s the executive summary:

What effect does social media have on purchase decisions? We examined this question using a survey of 6,000 US consumers. Based on their responses, we calculated the Temkin Purchase Influence Index (TPII) to gauges the level of influence that these channels have on the purchase and selection decisions of computers, cell phones, TVs, insurance, health plans, and credit cards. While the overall results show very few areas where social media has a strong influence on these purchases, a deeper analysis of consumers by age, income, ethnicity, and education uncovers pockets of stronger (and weaker) social media influence.

Download report for $195

Here’s a chart from the report that highlights the overall effect of social channels:

Here are some additional insights from our analysis of the TPII across different consumers based on their age, income, education, and ethnicity:

  • Computers: Social influence is strongest with African Americans
  • Cell phones: Social influence is stronger with 30 year-olds
  • Credit cards: Social influence is strongest with Hispanics
  • Insurance: Social influence is strongest with low-income consumers
  • Television:  Influence of discussions with friends and families goes down with education
  • Health plans:  Ratings and reviews influence goes down with education

Download report for $195

The bottom line: Tailor your social strategy to your product and target customers

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

4 thoughts on “Report: Social Media’s Limited Effect On Purchase Decisions”

  1. Looks like User Reviews are a very strong component of the choice process. If true, wouldn’t surprise me. Also speaks to the challenge of maintaining credibility & control over false reviews by interested or disgruntled parties (e.g., Yelp, etc.)

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