New research from leading provider of product reviews and user-generated (UGC) solutions, Bazaarvoice has revealed insights into who influences purchasing decisions, what truly impacts decisions, and which platforms they use to shop.

An overwhelming 100% of respondents said they bought a product based on other online shoppers’ recommendations. Over one-third (39%) said they purchase more products based on recommendations from regular social users compared to in the past.  

When purchasing a product, Australians said everyday social media users are who they are most influenced by (29%), which is slightly more than brands (28%) and subject matter experts (26%). Social media influencers (13%) and celebrity influencers (6%) were regarded as less influential.  

“Across Australian networks, the appeal of big celebrities or influencers has certainly diminished, and the voice of everyday consumers became louder. While most of us are not celebrities, all of us are shoppers, and we want to hear about the experiences of real, authentic shoppers. We find these people more trustworthy and are more likely to purchase products based on their recommendations,” Bazaarvoice managing director for Asia Pacific, Kate Musgrove said.

TikTok (29%), Instagram (24%) and Facebook (23%) are the three social media platforms most used by Australians to discover new products, and it’s what they use most to purchase new products as well (Facebook – 28%, Instagram – 28%, TikTok – 18%).  

The power of ‘de-influencing’ or ‘reverse-influencing’, the trend of social media content producers arguing against buying products or services they dislike or think won’t benefit their audiences has also been analysed in the report. Less than one in three Australians (29%) has heard of the trend and found no discernable impact on shoppers’ attitudes. 

The findings demonstrate that Australian brands and retailers must recognise that social media continues to evolve and that marketers must pay closer attention to regular consumer opinions as they hold significant weight in the decision-making process.