Consumers are more and more likely to use reviews
Electronic word of mouth communications are an increasingly important extension of traditional face-to-face WOM, widely regarded as one of the most influential factors impacting consumer behaviour.
The propensity for people to read or write online reviews has been rapidly growing, as they make more and more use of this new platform for consumer generated content. According to a 2018 Mintel report, 65% of consumers have read reviews in the last 3 months, while 40% have written one.
Reviews have a direct link to sales
User reviews are likely to be a deciding factor in the purchasing decision and positive ones can encourage consumers to spend more on a brand. In fact, on average, a one-star increase on review website ‘Yelp’ leads to a 5-9% increase in business revenue, as a study by Harvard Business School found. Negative reviews also have an impact, with 86% hesitating to purchase after reading negative comments; according to Convergys, on average, one negative review costs 30 customers.
Consumers trust them despite awareness of fake reviews
Recently, there have been rising concerns about the misuse of reviews – for example, the writing or commissioning of fake positive reviews or fake negative ones about competitors. However, this has not appeared to affect consumer trust in them, with 56% still believing user reviews are more reliable than professional ones, and 68% saying they are more useful, according to Mintel. Results from another study we carried out here at Emotional Logic showed that when it comes to the automotive sector 86% of consumers trusted the reviews of other fellow drivers, compared to only 14% trusting the car dealerships’ communications.
Propensity differs by sector
The most commonly read reviews are for the holiday and travel sector, followed by restaurants and technology products.
Here at Emotional Logic we have examined the differences in propensity to use online reviews among buyers of high-ticket items and we found that consumers are much more likely to look into reviews for technology compared to other products for the home.
It is therefore paramount to give your customers reasons to leave positive reviews, and just as important to manage any negative ones received with a swift apology. Emotional Logic has helped many brands significantly increase customer trust. To find out how to leverage the power of online reviews to maximise brand trust contact us today.
February 1, 2019
Consumer Research, Consumer Trends, Online shopping, Retail, Shopper Research