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HPU Poll: NC Consumers Rely On Word Of Mouth When It Comes To Buying Furniture, Home Accessories

04.6.2011

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 6, 2011 ? The importance of the furniture industry in High Point has been obvious this week as thousands of guests poured into the city for the April High Point Market. As the event wraps up, the Survey Research Center at High Point University is releasing results from a poll that reveals how North Carolinians get information and make decisions about buying furniture and accessories for their home.

When it comes to deciding on a product, the most important source of information is advice from friends, which 39 percent of participants voted as ?very important? and 41 percent of participants voted as ?somewhat important.? Ten percent of participants said advice from friends was ?very unimportant.?

One of the most common avenues of information for products ? manufacturers? websites ? was voted as ?very important? by 25 percent of participants. Forty percent chose ?somewhat important? and 16 percent chose ?very unimportant? when it comes to the information found on manufacturers? websites.

Social media may be a popular avenue to share some information, but the majority of participants ? 46 percent – said tools such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter was ?very unimportant? as a source of information for furniture and accessory products. Only 8 percent of participants said social media was ?very important? when getting information about the products, while 20 percent said it was ?somewhat important.?

Rick Hargrove, associate professor of marketing, says it should be noted that social media is still new, and its role in the home furnishings industry will probably change overtime.

?Social media is relatively new technology and is increasing in importance every day,? says Hargrove. ?Since social media is a virtual conversation between ?friends? rather than the one-way communication of a website or advertisement, I would predict that as people become more comfortable with the technology, consumers will use social media as another channel over which to receive advice from friends.?

HPU also is holding a day-long social media and Internet marketing symposium for furniture executives on April 7 where several guest speakers will discuss ways to use social media and the Internet to increase awareness of their products.

The High Point University Survey Research Center fielded the survey from March 21 ? March 31, 2011. The responses came from 569 adults with landline telephones in North Carolina selected by a Random Digit Dial (RDD) method giving the survey a margin of sampling error of approximately 4.3 percentage points.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among ?America?s Best Colleges.? Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 42 undergraduate minors and 14 graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.

# # #
Pam Haynes

Communication Specialist

336-841-9055

phaynes@highpoint.edu

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