How Online Customer Preferences and Feedback Has Changed

It has only been a couple of years since integrated log-ins began to creep into our everyday tasks online. Although it began on a smaller scale, such as the 2008 integration of Yahoo and Google ID’s with Zoho, from this small test in integration preferences, an entirely new beast grew.

Logging in via third party is no longer a delightful surprise in most cases, indeed, the lack of integrated log in can actually deter visitors from signing up, or logging into your site, especially when there are like options elsewhere that have the nifty one-click integration option. This type of log in integration is referred to as a type of social log-in service. Although Google came out strongly by quickly adding early integration for all of their available applications, it seems that the wind in Google’s social log-in services sails may have shifted.

Facebook Takes the Lead

Janrain, a web company that tracks social web data, states that since the first time they began reporting on these statistics in January 2010, Google has been overtaken. During the first quarter of 2011, 35% of users chose to use Facebook as a log-in option over all others. In the last quarter of 2010, the number hung around 27%.

However, this may not be indicative of overall users. When given the option on 350,000 different sites, users will choose not to integrate their Facebook account, but will choose other methods, or manual log-in instead, at a rate of 65%.

How is This Changing the Consumer Voice for Business

It may be difficult to determine who benefits the most, even though this new aspect of social media marketing seems to have perks for all. Social log-ins are appealing to businesses as they can help to personalize content, interactions, and brand awareness. Social log-ins are an attractive option for users who seem to love the feel of interacting with those of whom they make regular, or significant purchases from.

While Urban city guide sites like Yelp give consumers the ability to review products or services of any company on site, it seems most users these days prefer to simply Facebook ‘Like’ a fan page to show their loyalty to brands they enjoy, as well as to gain benefit by keeping more up-to-date on sales, or enjoy social chatter on the latest in the industry.

A recent study showed that while 20% of people claim they prefer to click a Facebook Fan pages ‘Like’ button to show their preference for local businesses, only 13% report being willing to write a review for the same business.

Turning the Tide

Although this may indeed turn the tide a bit on how users will begin to review local businesses, this is certainly not now nor likely to be the end all spot to find all of the pertinent information that users may be searching for.

The same study also showed that 52% of adult users under 35 will still check three or more websites when researching products or services locally or online. The main site still searched is Google at 63%.

At this point, the type of business will still rank high on the users list of what sites need to be searched. While those considering larger purchases may prefer the interaction that Facebook provides, users who may just want to check out how good a restaurants’ dishes are may still prefer the detailed review style of Yelp.




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