Today, the internet has changed the way we make purchases. It has given us, as purchasers, access to information about products and services, not just as provided by the providers of the products and services, but more importantly by others who have purchased those products and services in the past.
No longer are our thoughts and perceptions of brands controlled by big marketing budgets, and message repetition. Instead, many of us now include looking at company and product/service ratings and reviews as a standard part of the purchase process.
Below, we’ve pulled together a number of very interesting findings relating to ratings and reviews.
When making purchase decisions, North American Internet users trust recommendations from people they know and opinions posted by unknown consumers online more than advertisements on television, on the radio, in magazines and newspapers, or in other traditional media. (Nielsen Online)
90% of consumers online, trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy)
Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted — nearly 12 times more — than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US Internet users by online video review site EXPO. (eMarketer)
84% of consumers said they were more likely to check online for reviews prior to making a purchase compared to twelve months ago, according to a recent survey by Brand Reputation.(Retail Bulletin)
63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. (Major consumer electronics retailer/iPerceptions study)
Nearly two-thirds of consumers (61%) use search engines to help them in their product research decisions leading up to purchase. (eConsultancy)
24% use online reviews when deciding on purchases made offline (comScore, The Kelsey Group)
63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews (CompUSA, iPerceptions)
WHY DID WE GO TO THE TROUBLE OF POSTING ALL OF THESE STATS?
We Want You To Understand The Importance Of Having Customer Testimonies,
We Want You To Take Advantage Of Every Possible Advertising Method That Is Available.
We Want To Help You To Improve Your Bottom Line.
March 2011 Study By Lightspeed Research:
- 62% of people read reviews online before purchasing
- 62% of those surveyed trust other consumers’ opinions
- 21% said 2 bad reviews changed their minds about a potential purchase, and 37% said 3 bad reviews changed their minds.
- Only 7% of people have turned to their social networks for reviews.
What this study reveals is that reviews are DEFINITELY vital! It also highlights that people search specifically for reviews via search engines, and surprisingly don’t reach out to their social networks as often as we might have thought. The study also shows that it is very, VERY important to monitor and ‘optimize’ reviews of our customers online, because as few as 2 or 3 negative reviews can have a very negative impact on business.
The Retail Consumer Report (January 2011):
68% of those who complained about a business were contacted after the fact by the business:
- 18% of those people/businesses were so satisfied with the business’ response, they bought more
- 33% turned around and posted a positive review .
- 34% deleted their negative reviews.
The findings of this study are interesting, and support the little known philosophy “clients who experience a problem, and have that problem rectified quickly, will become more loyal than those who didn’t experience any problems at all”. In essence it means, if a client has a problem and voices those concerns online as a review, your customer doesn’t necessarily need to go out of business, or change their Company name. Instead, they just need to reach out to those clients, and attempt to rectify the issue. In 67% of the cases where this was considered in the study, the negative reviews were either deleted, or turned into positive reviews!
Positive Impacts from Negative Reviews:
Negative reviews aren’t always the kiss of death for a company. Although there is little supporting statistical evidence due to the challenges of trying to quantify types of negative reviews, TechJournal published an article where they argue that some types of negative reviews make all reviews of the business more credible. More specifically, they state:
“The authors found that when consumers receive negative information after receiving positive
information, especially if that negative information is relatively minor and just “blemishes” the product, it accentuates the positive information—if it’s encountered after the positives and if the consumers are.