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Surveys Find Word-of-Mouth Fueling E-Commerce

A new series of studies found that word-of-mouth is fueling the e-commerce boom as Internet shoppers spread the word about their online purchasing.

Given the choice, people talk more about their Internet shopping experiences than their favorite films or restaurants, the surveys found.

The average Internet shopper tells 12 family members, friends, relatives, co-workers and others about their Internet shopping experiences, the studies found, while the average U.S. adult tells 8.6 other people about their favorite movie and 6.1 other people about their favorite restaurant.

"The word-of-mouth statistics on Internet shopping are among the highest we've ever seen for any type of product or service," said James Ware, vice president of research for consulting firm The Concours Group.

"Normally a handful of referrals, like those with movies and restaurants, would be considered exceptional. These statistics demonstrate just how big a force e-commerce is becoming. It used to be that simply having an online account was enough. Now, social bragging rights are starting to transfer to those who do their shopping on the Net."

The three independent surveys were conducted by Opinion Research Corp. International of Princeton, NJ, sponsored by name-your-price e-commerce site priceline.com.



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