Outside experience plays a major role in the consumer journey for women, with 96 percent likely to seek out opinions and recommendations from others, according to the latest research from Influence Central. This study, conducted over the summer, analyzed the purchasing habits of over 400 US women and a definite trend emerged—women rely heavily on social media to make informed buying decisions.

Ask Mom

When asked which sources consistently give them useful recommendations for making purchasing decisions, consumers named close friends and family as the number one go-to. “Other moms” was listed as the second most-useful source of information, followed by web searches and social media communities. This is important to note when a brand leans toward frontline marketing and chooses an influencer to partner with or when targeting a female demographic.

Eighty percent say they often seek peer opinions while 59 percent turn to experts, and women value firsthand experience over any other reason for the recommendations they receive. While a vast majority of women reach out on social media channels for help, the offer goes both ways. Seventy-two percent of women consumers often share their own opinions, advice and recommendations via social media, as well.


Social Smarts

Eighty-six percent of women surveyed turn to social media outlets for opinions, advice and recommendations while 72 percent connect with their social media community “frequently” to help make everyday purchasing decisions. When asked why this is, 45 percent indicated the simple fact that they are more active on social media now than in previous years. Ninety-three percent of women consumers said they seek out more types of information more often now that it’s easier to access. Mobile access is also incredibly important, too, with 83 percent agreeing that they “couldn’t get nearly as much accomplished in life” without a smart phone.

You’d think the answer for marketers would be to jump on social and offer opinions, but it’s not that easy.

The women surveyed are confident in their ability to make informed decisions. Ninety-three percent describe themselves as skilled at determining which information to trust, but only 56 percent say their level of trust has increased thanks to the growing information available through search engines and social media.