CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Australia

Social Influence: How do they affect customers' decisions

How do your different customers interact and how do they gather and disseminate information?

The emma survey covers 11 different sources of influence that affects how people make decisions about eating out. In practice we can examine these by a simple age breakdown; for all the age groups Advice from Friends or Family ranked 1st with over 55% of QSR consumers noting it as the most useful source. Search, social and websites ranked accordingly:

Age 14 - 29 30 -44 45 - 64 65+
Search 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Social Media 4th 5th 10th 11th
Vendor Website 3rd 2nd 2nd 3rd

Websites are the only online source of information that consistently ranks in the Top 3 and from other data held in the emma survey we know that 40% or more of those aged between 14 and 44 have researched food online in any four week period (emma source: 12 months to July 2015).

When we ask these same age groups about their word of mouth influence and examining the results through indexing we can see how important it is to get the online experience right.

Those under the age of 44 are more likely to be influenced by others, to seek information before a purchase and try and communicate their experiences to others. They’re almost more likely to be the first to buy new products so when you’re introducing and promoting new ingredients they’ll be the first customers to try them out and then voice their opinion on the results.

The context for the above will of course affect decision making, consumers won’t have to research familiar offerings from brands with ultra-high awareness but the service experience at a specific franchise could be the cause of commentary.

For information from the emma survey on how your customers will likely react to their dining experience please contact ben.coulston@ipsos.com

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