Industry Research : YA Survey: Referrals Top Reason Consumers Pick One Brand Over Another
A recent study by YA, a provider in delivering omni-channel marketing promotions, reveals the power referrals have over consumer buying decisions.
In the March 2016 survey of more than 1,000 Americans, 85 percent of respondents said they are more likely to buy a product or service if it is recommended by someone they know, and 76 percent said a referral would cause them to choose one brand over another. In addition, the greatest percentage (38 percent) said that when researching products and services, a referral from a friend is the source of information they trust the most, ahead of online reviews, advertising or news reports.
"52 percent of consumers reported that referrals were very or extremely important when making a purchase. Clearly, Americans are most comfortable making a purchase when someone they know recommends the product or service," said YA President and CEO Chris Behrens. "Simply put, consumers trust and value the opinion of people they know."
Consumers are also very open to making referrals for products and services, with 91 percent of respondents indicating that they give referrals when they like the product. However, only one quarter (22 percent) of survey respondents say they have participated in a formalized refer-a-friend program.
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According to the survey, 42 percent of respondents cited that they had made a referral when a friend requested information or expressed a need. Without a call to action, consumers are offering referrals when a friend seeks a recommendation. However, consumers are most likely to participate in a referral program after good service (47 percent) or after buying the product (33 percent) according to respondents.
"Timing is key," Behrens added. "Brands should look at their product life cycle and identify key steps in the customer journey to optimize when to ask and incent consumers for a referral. For example, immediately following a purchase or as an integrated part of a customer loyalty program."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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