50% of U.S. Women are Fans or Followers of Grocery, Health/Beauty, Household Product Brands or Stores

iVillage and SheSpeaks have released a joint an report, “Women and the Digital Path to Purchase, based on an online survey of random sample of women from the SheSpeaks panel, fielded in March 31-April 2, 2010, in which 1,581 U.S. women participated.  The research studied the impact of different digital marketing tactics on women’s in-store purchase behavior.

Facebook was the most-visited web site among respondents, with 81% saying that they had visited Facebook  in the past month.

The researchers found that 50% of women are fans or followers of grocery, health/beauty or household product brands and the stores that carry them. They are more likely to follow brands than retailers: 36% follow a food/beverage brand, 32% follow a health/beauty brand and 25% follow a household product brand, compared with 19% who follow a superstore via social media.

When asked about top purchase influences, 19% cited posts from friends on Facebook or Twitter, and 11% cited posts from brands are. Blogs, by comparison, are a top influence for 33% of respondents.  Consumer reviews on shopping sites are a top influence for 61% of respondents.  Facebook and Twitter posts from friends were most influential among women in their 20’s, with 26% citing them as being “most influential.”

Women are 77% more likely to look for products and 67% more likely to purchase them in a store after reading online reviews on a community forum or message board.

Read the full report (PDF).