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Gen-Y Won't Buy Without User-Generated Input

January 31, 2012

Raised on a diet of interactive and social media, Millennials are a consumer powerhouse who, when considering purchases, tend to value user-generated content (UGC) more than other sources of information, including the opinions of friends and family, according to a survey from Bazaarvoice.

Moreover, many Millennials (AKA Generation Y) won't complete a wide range of purchases without consulting UGC first.

With a population of roughly 75 million, or 25% of the total US population, Gen Y (born 1977-1994) is estimated to be the largest consumer group in US history, according to McKinsey. Gen-Y's annual spending power, which already exceeds $200 billion, is expected to eclipse Boomers' by 2017.

Below, key findings from the study titled "Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People over Brands," by Bazaarvoice.

Influence of UGC

More than eight in ten Millennials say UGC from strangers has "a lot" (25%) or "some" (59%) influence on what they buy, compared with 70% of Boomers who say UGC has influence, either a lot ( 21%) or some (49%):

Moreover, Millennials tend to trust the opinions of people in online communities over other sources of information. 

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  • by Amy Tue Jan 31, 2012 via web

    I agree with this article. It definitely helps to see what others are saying about these products. I know I use reviews from other consumers about electronics before making a purchase. I also do this when looking for a new restaurant to try. :)

  • by Fabiola Tue Jan 31, 2012 via web

    As part of the Gen-Y I do feel this article is accurate. When it comes to major purchases such as electronics, furniture/home appliances and/or hotels I definitely check out user reviews from various resources such as Amazon prior to making a purchase. I view both negative and positive comments in order to figure out what worked and what didn't for certain people. If the negative outweighs the positive then I'll switch brands. But if sometimes if I really want that specific item I'll take my chances and purchase it anyway. :-) For me it's very important to read what others are saying regarding these types of products. Returning things is such a hassle!

  • by Tom Mon Feb 6, 2012 via web

    I'm a Gen-Y, and completely hostage to random strangers' words about products. I realize companies could easily hire stooges to write 3 out of the 3 reviews I see on Amazon, and I feel like I should trust reviews less. But reviews are %3E%3E push advertising.

  • by Steve Wed Feb 8, 2012 via web

    How much does UGC come into play when buying Homeowners or Personal Auto insurance?

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