IBM Study Finds Facebook and Twitter Play a Big Role in Consumer Purchasing Decisions

A new study conducted by IBM reveals that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter play a large role in influencing consumers.

IBM claims that Facebook and Twitter not only influence people’s purchasing activity online, but also in brick and mortar stores.

According to the study, more than 50 percent of the respondents, between ages 16 and 64, use social media platforms on a regular basis for shopping assistance. Another 35 percent claim they rely on social networking platforms to read product reviews.

One major revelation is that retailers offering special offers and discounts on social networks greatly influence people’s shopping habits. Around 57 percent of the respondents claim that they follow retailers online just to get free product trials and special discounts.

"Social media provides a new window through which retailers can deliver a more personal brand experience across all buying channels,” said IBM's commerce solutions regional leader, David Hogg.

“By harnessing real-time customer analytics from social media, retailers can act upon what is being said, delivering a personalised marketing offer based on the customers' shopping profile, preferences and decisions, helping retailers to maximise revenues," he added.