NEWS13 April 2015

Internet users turn to friends’ recommendations as choice becomes overwhelming

News UK

UK — More than half of internet users ( 55%) use only two or three trusted sites when looking for content and product purchases, turned off surfing the net because there’s too much choice and information.


As people feel overwhelmed with the volume and choice of information on the web, they are increasingly looking to friends’ recommendations on social media rather than searching for content themselves according to a study from global media agency, Carat.

Carat’s proprietary research and insight tool Consumer Connection System (CCS), which surveys 11,000 British consumers and their media habits, found that a third of people prefer friends’ recommendations than ads on social networks.

According to CCS, the five most trusted sites for content in the UK are: BBC, Amazon, Google, ITV and eBay.

The study found that 41% of people feel overwhelmed by the wealth of choice on the web, making it hard for them to make purchase decisions. Meanwhile 26% of people feel there is so much information on the net that it is hard for them to find what they are looking for when shopping online. 

Almost half ( 44%) of users said they look at content uploaded by friends at least once a week and 29% of people check posts shared by friends at least once a day. Millennials ( 15- to 34-year-olds) in particular rely on friends’ recommendations on social media with 49% of them trusting personal recommendations from friends more than ads and 33% said that they would visit a site if it is recommended via a social network.

Dan Hagen, chief strategy officer at Carat, said: “While there will always be a small population of people who will make the effort to explore the landscape for new and interesting content, services and diversions, the vast majority need the advice of trusted friends and brands to help them navigate an increasingly saturated content ecosystem. This opens several interesting opportunities and challenges for brands. Smart content, and crucially, distribution strategies combined with innovative approaches to partnership can help advertisers redefine their content strategies.”