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Consumers rely on social media for financial product purchases: Google

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | December 04, 2009
A study titled India Finance Study, conducted by Google India, reveals that social media sites act as an important source of information in the financial product purchase process

Internet search giant Google India has released the findings of a survey titled India Finance Study. It aimed to understand how consumers use the Internet and traditional media sources to research and purchase financial products and services.

More than 1,000 online users, who had purchased a financial product such as such as home loan, personal loan, credit card, investment and insurance policy in the last six months, participated in the study. It was conducted by the US based Netpop Research during August 8-19, 2009 in India.

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The report says that 84 per cent of the respondents studied had used search engines as a primary source to research the financial products. Among the preference of search engines, 95 per cent of the respondents used Google for their financial products research. About 53 per cent and 36 per cent used Yahoo! and Rediff.com searches respectively. Bing.com was used by 17 per cent of the respondents.

Interestingly, the study reveals that apart from online ads, word-of-mouth and traditional media ads had prompted users to go online for further information.

About 62 per cent of the respondents went online for further product information, after they had come to know about the products from their friends.

Among traditional media ads, TV and print ads worked better as compared outdoor and radio commercials. Nearly 58 per cent and 52 per cent respondents went online for further research after they became aware about the financial products through TV and print ads respectively. Only 22 per cent respondents were influenced by radio ads to explore the products online.

About 60 per cent of the respondents clicked on online ads to get more information about the financial products.

The survey further indicates that conversations, user-generated product reviews, social networking sites and blogs acted as important sources of information in the financial product purchase process. While 47 per cent respondents had used consumer reviews, 41 per cent respondents relied on social networking sites and 29 per cent relied on blogs to get information about the products.

In an official communiqué, Parminder Singh, business head, Google India, says, "Increase in consumption of user-generated content and online videos highlights the need to effectively manage brand perceptions, which is critical for the finance category as trust is a major component of the final purchase decision."