Almost three-quarters (72%) of the consumers are more likely to return to a brand that creates a strong online community,
This is according to a study by Amity, a tech platform that powers in-app social experiences, which highlights the importance of brands creating online communities to engage with their customers.
The research also found that almost two-thirds (63%) admit they are more likely to buy from a brand that leverages engaging social features on its app.
Aunty’s survey, which polled 500 consumers from the UK, also revealed that consumers crave content from their peers in order to help them in making purchasing decisions. The majority (71%) of consumers state they prefer to view user-generated content over brand-generated content when considering whether to buy from a brand, while more than half of consumers (52%) agree that positive social proof, such as customer reviews, makes them more likely to buy from a brand.
The research also sought to understand which in-app social features consumers felt best replicated human interactions during the lockdown period. Online communities came out strongly, with over a quarter (27%) admitting that they were the best means of replicating human interactions from a brand. This was second only to live chat (33%), a feature regularly part of brands’ online communities.
Francesca Gargaglia, CBO & COO at Amity, said: “In an increasingly digital world, consumers seek a sense of belonging from the brands they interact with. The results of this research emphasize the importance of online communities as an integral feature of a brand’s marketing strategy.
“Businesses must prioritize their digital communities to foster personalized brand-consumer relationships and establish a competitive advantage. Positive in-app communities enable an increased level of trust, build a loyal consumer base and in return, increase sales.”