The impact that search and social media have on a consumer’s purchase has never been disputed. I have always maintained that they were always joined at the hip. In a recent GroupM Search and comScore study this has pretty much been verified. Search drives the intent or consideration to buy, and social locks up or seals the intent and turns it into a conversion.
Interestingly, the research show that search alone is still a powerful tool in online buying intent, behavior and research. Always will be IMO, but what really caught my eye though was how little online buyers relied on social alone as the primary driver to a purchase. The internet is too broad and delivers too much information in regards to research on a buying decision to just rely on a social recommendation. Why? Because we still want the best deal possible. Relying on one piece of info, i.e. a recommendation from Twitter or Facebook isn’t enough for today’s savvy online customer. We start with search, we add social in there and then we finish with search.
What does this really mean? Ignore the power of search at your own peril and relying solely on social to drive consideration and conversions is a risky proposition.