Reddit has published a new guide which looks at how consumers are increasingly relying on real people’s opinions and recommendations, via Reddit, in order to better inform their buying choices.

The 21-page guide is based on analysis of “millions of posts, comments, and threads, across thousands of subreddit communities”, along with a survey of 11,000 Reddit users, in order to highlight how more and more people are turning to subreddit insights to get real world experience notes, across virtually every product category.

As explained by Reddit:

“Over half of US shoppers have concerns over the quality and legitimacy of the product discovery channels they use most. Influencers and AI algorithms may appear to steer millions of purchase decisions daily, but trust in their authenticity is eroding. As a result, we believe marketers will begin to see the effectiveness of traditional social channels degrade as consumers increasingly turn to more trusted channels.”

Indeed, Reddit says that, in 2023 alone, users added “Reddit” to Google searches more than 32 billion times, which shows how people are seeking out real experiences and insights, as opposed to trusting paid influencer campaigns, bot-riddled product review sections, and other perspectives.

“This growing behavior shows that the conversations happening within online communities – which are full of real people, speaking from their own experience and without any kind of ulterior motive or incentive – are often the most valued search result.”

The guide first looks at the concerns around online reviews, which are increasingly being gamed by brands in order to sway the displayed results.

Reddit consumer influence report

Generative AI adds another level to this, because now, it’s simple, and cost-effective, to come up with authentic-sounding product reviews which can seem legitimate.

Reddit’s guide highlights how its communities can act as a better source of truth in product discovery, and help consumers find more trusted information.

Reddit consumer influence report

The guide then looks at how consumers use Reddit recommendations across four specific categories: electronics, auto, beauty, and alcohol.

Reddit consumer influence report

There are some valuable insights here, which could make you look at Reddit a little differently, in terms of how it can influence purchase decisions, and drive sales results.

The benefit for brands is that Reddit not only provides a means to get your products in front of these consumers, at the right time, but it also gives you another tool for consumer research, by getting involved in these communities, and understanding what people are talking about in your niche.

Because as the stats show, people are turning to Reddit to expand their search behavior, and get real insights from real people.

Maybe you should be paying attention, and based on that, you might also find that Reddit ads could also make sense.

You can download Reddit’s full “Trust, recommendations, and the next era of influence 2024” report here.

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