Online ratings and reviews have more impact on consumer purchases than virtually all other digital media. They are much more compelling than the top social networks (Facebook and Twitter), email promotions, and mobile ads.
Reviews don’t just affect online purchases. They are also the top digital influence on in-store choices. In fact, almost one quarter of smartphone owners look up product reviews while in brick and mortar stores.
Roughly 80% of online consumers turn to reviews for guidance. Half look at them regularly, and 1 in 5 posts a review at least once a month.
While marketers hypothesize that reviews have more influence on high ticket purchases, consumers indicate they are important across a whole range of categories.
More than three quarters of shoppers trust other consumers’ ratings. In the electronics category, consumer reviews are seen as more trustworthy than experts’. However, shoppers are less likely to believe a peer review if it contains grammar or spelling mistakes, is too positive or too negative.
With all the focus on social media marketing, it’s easy to overlook reviews as a powerful marketing tool. Don’t.
What are the implications for your business?
- Have you created an easy way for consumers to post reviews about your product/service?
- Do you closely monitor those reviews and respond appropriately, but not defensively, to both positive and negative comments?
- Are you running your business with awareness of just how eager consumers are to tell others about their experience, and how much a bad review can hurt sales?
If you want to keep current on how consumers use social media, technology and the Internet, check out The Digital American 2013. Click here for a free sample.
For help developing powerful marketing strategies that drive results, strategic plans that deliver growth, or new products that consumers love, contact Brandology at 925-417-2253 or Maura@Brandology.com.
Sources: eMarketer 2013, Forrester 2013, Marketingcharts 2013, Pew Research 2013