Colour me unsurprised: the internet has almost double the influence of television in consumer decision-making in the UK, Germany and France, according to the Digital Influence Index (DII), a study of media consumption and online behaviors conducted by Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive.
In all three countries, the internet ranks as the most influential medium among internet users, with index scores of 44% in the UK, 45% in Germany, and 46% in France. That translates into roughly twice the influence of the second-strongest channel, television, and about eight times the influence of traditional printed media.
Consumers in all three countries are more likely to seek others’ opinions, through social media and product-rating sites, for making personal decisions. In contrast, they use company-controlled sources when making transactional decisions on commoditized items, such as utilities or airline tickets.
Other findings: while consumers see the clear benefits of the internet on their lives, they continue to have concerns about internet safety and the trustworthiness of some online information. In the UK, for example, 66% of online consumers say the internet helps them make better decisions, but just 28% trust the information companies provide on the internet.
The research also confirms some clichés: the French are the most engaged in digital communications, with two-thirds of web users owning a webcam and three-fourths using IM. UK consumers are the most likely to have created an online profile site on a social networking page, and Germans are more likely to have used the internet for research.
Fleishman-Hillard, working cooperation with Harris Interactive, interviewed nearly 5,000 internet users in the UK, Germany and France. The survey was designed to measure media-consumption patterns, internet behaviour and attitudes, and online social networking involvement, as well as to assess the internet’s influence on specific decisions.
(The chart embedded above is a courtesy of Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive.)