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.