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The New Stuff

Consumers Increasingly Using Social Media to Make Buying Decisions

Four out of 10 consumers have made a purchase based on advertising they saw on a social media site, and 76 percent welcome advertising on social networks, according to a report published today by Razorfish™, one of the industry's largest digital marketing agencies. FEED: The Razorfish Consumer Experience Report can be found at

FEED documents the results of a 2008 survey that Razorfish conducted of more than 1,000 "connected" consumers (a coveted group who spend money online and have access to broadband). According to the Razorfish Digital Consumer Behavior Study, connected consumers are adopting social media and web 2.0 technologies with startling regularity.

"Connected consumers embrace social media, are actively building and refining their own trusted personal networks and are rapidly dabbling with emerging communication offerings like Twitter," said Garrick Schmitt, Razorfish Group Vice President of Experience Planning and FEED editor. "We find that consumers are more open to advertising as part of their everyday experience than commonly assumed."

The Consumer Behavior Study also contains tips for marketers on the eve of a challenging holiday season, such as the importance of personalization and loyalty programs. Key findings:
• Razorfish reports that 65 percent of connected consumers say that retail loyalty programs highly influence purchasing decisions. According to Razorfish, loyalty services like Amazon's Prime™ or Best Buy's Reward Zone® are essential for retailers to succeed in a competitive digital environment.
• Websites that give personalized recommendations strongly influence connected consumers. Of the total surveyed, 65 percent said that they have made a repeat purchase on a site that issued an automated recommendation based on their previous purchase.

FEED also contains several essays, such as "Mad Widgetry," and "Life After the iPhone," which examine the impact of web 2.0 and social media on consumer behavior across the digital world, as well as implications for marketers. Schmitt noted that 60 percent of consumers use widgets on websites, and nearly half watch videos on their mobile devices.

"The uptake of widgets, mobile devices and social media tells us that marketers need to design experiences for consumers across a world of fragmented digital media," he said.

FEED is the second annual report of its kind. Razorfish publishes FEED to help marketers design better consumer experiences by offering insight into how consumers interact with digital media.