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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

For many here, fun starts with a trip online: Poll

The social media is always here to give advice, if you can't decide between a posh restaurant or humble hawker food.
December 9, 2012
By: Jessica Lim
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For many here, fun starts with a trip online: Poll

MOST Singaporean consumers will log on to social media before they decide where to eat, travel and find entertainment.

And the majority of them, seven in 10, will do so on their mobile phones, according to a social media survey released by research company Nielsen yesterday.

The global survey, conducted this year, polled more than 28,000 consumers in 56 countries. In Singapore, 500 consumers were polled.

The annual study found that two-thirds of Singaporeans are likely to visit a restaurant or buy food and beverage items (68 per cent and 67 per cent respectively) based on social media websites or online product reviews.

The corresponding figure is 67 per cent for travel and 66 per cent for entertainment.

Of those who use social media, 59 per cent do so at least once a week to monitor the experiences others have had with products and services.

The survey also found that almost half of Singaporeans polled (49 per cent) use social media while watching television.

In other Asia-Pacific markets, social media websites had the most impact on purchases of home electronics and fashion. Yet these two categories did not figure prominently in Singapore.

Ms Joan Koh, the managing director of Nielsen Singapore and Malaysia, said that social media had "fundamentally changed the consumer decision journey".

"The days when companies could tightly control brand messaging and push consumers along a linear purchase funnel have long ended," said Ms Koh. "Consumer decisions and behaviour are increasingly driven by the opinions, tastes and preferences of an exponentially larger, global pool of friends, peers and influencers."

The findings mirror the trend that social media websites see here.

TripAdvisor, a website where users post reviews of hotels and restaurants, received 198,000 unique visitors in the Republic in September, 49 per cent more than in the same month last year.

Popular restaurant review website HungryGoWhere had one million unique visitors in the past two months, up from 750,000 in the same period last year.

Ms Joanne Tan, 23, almost never tries a new restaurant without reading its online reviews first.

"It's horrible when you go to a new place and the food or the service is bad," said the student. "When I read good reviews, it reassures me and then I make the trip down."

She added: "Reviews from others are also unbiased, not like an advertisement put up by the company."


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