Golin and iSense Solutions have conducted a new study under the umbrella of the Bold by Lowe Group, analyzing the social media's influence on purchasing decisions.
According to the study, the social media aspects that improve the Romanians' confidence in products are a good review (51%) and a good recent review (49%), the brand's response speed (37%) and quality content (34%). On the opposite side, for consumers, the least relevant are the shares (16%) and the number of followers of the brand (12%).
If 90% of Romanians in the urban area are informed from the internet (brand site, online stores or social media) when they want to make a purchase, 63% choose physical stores or showrooms and 49% resort to family, friends or knowledge.
In terms of social media influence over the purchasing decision, Facebook influences the decision to buy food (23%), household products and accessories (33%), electronics and household appliances (31%), clothing and footwear (36%), energy and utilities (17%), financial services (18%).
YouTube inflates the most buying decision for electronics and home appliances (18%), followed by home and accessories (16%) and clothing and footwear (13%).
Instagram most influences the purchase of clothes and footwear, with 9% of respondents saying they were influenced by this environment for their purchase.
"Social media is an essential component of today's life. Whether we glanced in notifications on Facebook early in the morning, either asleep watching videos on YouTube or we decide what kept us interested for a festival inspired by posts influencer, I was curious to find out what relationship exists between social media communication and purchasing decisions. Today, when social media influences us to the impulse of buying, it is necessary to understand what is behind the scenes and how we can be more and more present where our consumers are and how we can be relevant in communication with them, says Irina Roncea, Deputy Managing Director, Golin.
"Now consumers are actively looking for information about brands not only on Google but also on social media channels where we have official brand information on the one hand and the interaction and experience of other consumers with these brands. From our analysis, we found that the influence of social media channels in the buying decision is 20% higher if a consumer was exposed to advertisements on that channel, and he also actively informed himself on that channel about the products that he was interested. This means that a content-building strategy, combined with a advertising strategy, has a maximum impact, "adds Traian Nastase, Managing Partner, iSense Solutions.
Regarding the influence that Romanians feel they have among the people around them, 7 out of 10 Romanians (vs. 6 out of 10 in 2017) consider that they influence the opinions or decisions of the people around them. How? By expressing opinion on current topics (77%), by giving advice on making certain life decisions (72%) and by recommending products / places / events (66%), etc.
If we discuss the analysis of the reasons that would cause them to recommend a product, 98% of Romanians get the quality, then the experience with the product (88%) and then its price (74%), the last of which is the product packaging (40%) or advertising (33%).
The study by iSense Solutions targeted top social media channels (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest) and the following six product categories: food, home appliances and accessories, electronics and home appliances, clothing and footwear , energy and utilities and financial services.
The study was conducted by iSense Solutions exclusively for Golin and included a sample of 500 respondents, urban web users aged between 16-55 years for the quantitative part.
Also, three in-depth interviews were conducted qualitatively with social media users aged between 19-36 years.
The data was gathered online through the ResearchRomania.ro Panel during August-September 2018, and are representative at urban level. The study results have an error rate of +/- 4.38%, at a confidence level of 95%.