How community recommendations drive collective influence
Reddit is the place to go when you want to know.
Consumers are facing a market oversaturated with ad messaging and product placements, making the process of deciding on a purchase increasingly difficult and frustrating. But the wisdom of online communities offer an alternate approach, and consumers are catching on.
Here, guidance from a user carries credibility not because of follower counts, but because of shared experience or expertise. It’s why 77% of US Reddit users are thankful for product recommendations from strangers.1
Our latest research explores this behavior to better understand the role recommendations on Reddit play in driving purchase decisions. We broke down why community recommendations are so influential, and identified the impact a successful recommendation had on subsequent actions, like making a purchase.
The result offers insights to help marketers add value to the consumer’s path to purchase, reach them as they near the pointy end of their decision making process, and ultimately become part of the recommendation engine themselves.
Here’s a peek at what we found:
People come to Reddit for recommendations.
The recommendation economy is a foundational part of why so many people visit Reddit on a daily basis2 Nearly all users (94%) have engaged with recommendation content in the last year and reviewing recommendations is decidedly the most popular activity on the platform (86%).2 In fact, 78% of redditors use the platform for recommendations more than once a month, far higher than their use of Google, Amazon, Consumer Reports, influencers, or salespeople for recommendations.3
And recommendations drive purchase decisions.
Increased likelihood to action
of Reddit users follow the guidance of recommendations they receive on platform.4
A shorter path to purchase
of Reddit users reported making a faster purchase decision after reviewing recommendations on Reddit*.2
Frequent return visits
of Reddit users plan to return to the platform with the same or increased frequency when considering an upcoming purchase.4
*higher than other recommendation sources such as Amazon, Google, Consumer Reports, Salespeople or influencers.
Fast Facts: the Reddit recommendation engine by vertical
- In tech and computing categories on Reddit, recommendations make up 22% of total posts, the largest of any category. This followed by recommendation posts in the healthy living category which make up 15% of total posts.5
- On average, recommendation prompts in the sports category will yield 72 replies (the most across any category), and the fastest average response time.
- News and education categories see the next highest number of average replies, with 30 per post.5
- Entertainment and gaming categories see the highest number of recommendation posts per hour (245 and 318, respectively).5
- Entertainment and gaming categories also see the highest number of recommendation posts per minute (5 and 4, respectively).5
The analysis in this report is based on a semiotic analysis of millions of online Reddit posts from January 1 to December 31, 2022 as well as an online survey of 12,250 US, UK, Canadian, German and Australian residents aged 18-65+ years old conducted in March 2023. All respondents reported regular usage of either Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn, defined as using the respective platform at least once per month. The respondent sample was weighted using population parameters from the census bureau population parameters for each country.
1Suzy Primary Research, February 2022 (n=500)
2Reddit Custom Survey, US, UK, AUS, CA, DE, n=4,500, Mar 2023
3Reddit Custom Survey, US, UK, AUS, CA, DE, n=3,750, Mar 2023
4Reddit Custom Survey, US, UK, AUS, CA, DE, n=4,000
5Reddit Internal Data, Global, 2023
*Regular Reddit users are defined as “using Reddit very frequently or frequently in the past month,” representing 69% of overall Reddit users.