Online Reviews Sway Shoppers

Online Reviews Sway Shoppers

JULY 9, 2008

Consumers look for peer opinions.

Consumer reviews play a big part in purchase decisions for online shoppers in the US, according to a June 2008 Opinion Research Corporation study.

A full 61% of respondents said they had checked online reviews,
blogs and other online customer feedback before buying a new product or
service. Search engines were the preferred way to research purchases.
Of those who looked for reviews and other feedback, more than eight out
of 10 said
such evaluations had at least some influence on their purchases.


"Businesses today exist in an era in which it’s nearly
impossible to escape the likelihood of being evaluated." said Linda
Shea, senior vice president at Opinion Research, in a statement,
"There’s nowhere to hide."

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The company also found that 38% of respondents first checked online product or service reviews when starting shopping research.

Online shoppers value product reviews from other consumers
(29.6%) even more highly than professional reviews (21.3%), according
to an InQuira-commissioned survey conducted in 2008 by Service Excellence Research Group.

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It is not just new online shoppers who look for the opinions of
other consumers, according to a February 2008 study commissioned by
PowerReviews
and conducted by
the e-tailing
group
.
Nearly one-half of US consumers surveyed who shopped online four or
more times per year and spent at least $500 said they needed four to
seven customer reviews before making a purchase decision.

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