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Survey: The top influencer for new brand selection is…

Social media influencers may not be so influential, after all.

According to a new survey conducted by retail marketing technology company Bluecore and market research firm Dynata, 25% of respondents said word of mouth has the most influence when they are considering a new brand. Online ads closely followed with a 23% response rate. Social influencers were only selected by 12% of respondents, trailed by email (9%) and celebrities (8%).

Consumers are most willing to try a new brand for tops (70%), pants (69%) and shoes (68%), and least willing to buy from a new brand for hosiery (17%). Reinforcing the finding that social influencers have more impact on consumer brand choices than celebrities is the fact that 57% of respondents view influencers as having a medium-high impact on purchases, compared to 48% of those that view celebrities the same way.

The study also indicates that retailers and brands engaging in e-commerce should consider providing free shipping, if they do not already do so. Over sixty percent of all respondents say free shipping is the most compelling incentive to purchase online, followed by a percent-off offer (27%).

Free shipping is less compelling for younger consumers 18-24 (52%) than for those older than 55 (79%). In addition, one-third of respondents said they're highly likely to purchase a product from a brand that offers a trial or in-home testing period.

Bluecore and Dynata surveyed 1,005 U.S. online consumers over a two-week period during Q2 2020.

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