The role of online community in the consumer path to purchase | Sponsored Content

This article was contributed and sponsored by Reddit.


Online communities have been on the rise in terms of engagement and value in users’ lives for quite some time, but the last 12 months has seen even more people turn to platforms like Reddit for information, advice, companionship, and all-important distraction in a time of unprecedented physical disconnection. The last few months in particular have demonstrated that passionate online communities—like the over 100,000 found on Reddit—have the power to drive real world action. Whether it's pets or personal finance, skincare or stocks, there’s a community for every imaginable passion on Reddit and this brings a very real opportunity for brands.

Amid all the shifts in consumer behavior ushered by the pandemic, it’s become clear that online communities are an integral part of the consumer journey and path to purchase. The No. 1 reason people come to Reddit is to be informed, via in-depth conversations from those who care most about a topic. And without the freedom to see, touch, and try on products in real-life shopping environments, it’s no surprise these communities have increasingly become a place for people to research, discover, and recommend products. Over 86% of internet users trust Reddit and its communities when it comes to learning about new products and brands—more than any other social platform, according to our study with YPulse.

Reddit recently partnered with Verto Analytics to understand the value of its highly engaged, passionate audience by analyzing almost 1,500 online purchase journeys for actively-researched products. We found that consumers who use Reddit are more informed, make faster, higher-value purchases, and ultimately become stronger brand advocates.

Compared to other social platforms, Reddit purchase journeys deliver:

More informed consumers: Reddit users spend more of their journey actively researching, and evaluate 2x the number of brands during 4x as many research sessions in some stages.

More confident purchasers: Informed and confident in their decision, Reddit users make their final purchase decision 9x faster and spend 15% more dollars.

Stronger brand advocacy: Reddit users have a 12% higher Net Promoter Score (NPS) post-purchase, and are 13% more likely to have talked positively about the brand online and offline.

While it’s clear community engagement is extremely valuable for advertisers, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about letting the users do the work. There’s room for brands in these conversations. In fact, 82% of online community site users say they would be receptive towards brand participation in their communities, and it’s one of the few places consumers look forward to brands being a functioning member, contributing, and providing value, according to GlobalWebIndex.

Brands that can successfully insert themselves into online communities have the power to not only drive product purchases, they can also unlock meaningful, life-long advocates who are genuinely invested in their success.

— Jack Koch, Global Head of Marketing Sciences, Reddit