'I'll buy new product if family, friends recommend it'

MORE than three in five Singaporeans get information on new products from their family and friends.

Some 63 per cent of them depend on such word-of-mouth recommendations to learn about new items they can buy.

This is compared with the global average of 56 per cent.

Singaporean consumers are next most likely to spot these products in the stores themselves, according to a recent online poll about new product innovation by market research firm Nielsen.

The survey, conducted in February and March this year, polled just over 500 Singapore citizens in a group of 30,000 respondents in 60 countries.

Personal recommendations also go the furthest in driving sales, with almost a third of local consumers saying recommendations would make them pick up new products.

Graduate student Christine Sim, 26, said: "I listen to my friends because they have tried the products. But if the cost is quite high, I am more likely to question them."

Affordable prices and convenience of use topped Singaporeans' wish lists for what they want in new products here. Products that "bring ease" and are "fitting for a healthy lifestyle" followed closely behind.

Mr Johan Vrancken, Nielsen's head of innovation practice in South-east Asia, North Asia and Pacific, said: "As consumers become better educated on the importance of making healthy choices, they are increasingly seeking out products which support a healthy lifestyle and are made with fresh, natural ingredients."

The survey also found that two-thirds of Singaporeans prefer to buy new products from brands which are familiar to them, though more than half (or 54 per cent) are willing to switch to a new brand.

Across South-east Asia, 73 per cent of consumers purchased a new product during their last grocery shopping trip, higher than the global average of 57 per cent, said Nielsen.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline ''I'll buy new product if family, friends recommend it''. Print Edition | Subscribe