A new study has shown that younger internet users are more likely to be influenced by errors online than older people. The research, carried out by IBM, surveyed 2,000 people and found that 40 per cent of those in the 18-24 age group would make a judgement about a website based on the accuracy of its writing. Across all age groups, the figure was 35 per cent.
The results of this survey reinforce the importance of attention to detail for anyone involved in writing for a website. Article writers, bloggers and online news providers have known for a while that an error can be costly, as internet users become more and more adept at choosing the most professional and reliable websites.
The survey also revealed that more and more people are using web-based resources to help when making a purchase. 18 per cent of 18-24s would seek opinions via social media websites when shopping for large items such as cars.
Respondents in the older age groups also showed a tendency to rely on online information. It was revealed that 70 per cent of those in the 45-54 age group believed online reviews to be a good source of information when shopping.
As consumers move from traditional, offline sources of information to web-based reviews and discussions, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to have a web presence. The results of this survey suggest that a good strategy would involve putting out information across a range of different types of website, encouraging discussion about products and, of course, ensuring that all content is accurate and well-written.