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BizReport : Ecommerce : March 07, 2009


Reluctant shoppers swayed by peer-generated content

Consumers are tightening the grip on their wallets, but a recent survey by Jupiter Research for Bazaarvoice and richrelevance found that all is not lost for online retailers and manufacturers if they concentrate on providing consumers with the tools and information they need to make a purchase decision.

by Helen Leggatt

Nearly half of consumers (48%) plan to spend less this year than last and, as recent reports have found, they are becoming ever more diligent about researching products before making a purchase decision. They need to justify their expenditure more than ever.

Trend-spotter Mark Penn, writing in the Wall Street Journal, recently described a new breed of consumer - the "new info shopper" - a cautious group that turn to blogs and online reviews to thoroughly investigate a potential purchase. Why? Because, he says, ads just don't contain enough information, consumers want more.

New research by Jupiter Research for Bazaarvoice and richrelevance highlights peer-influenced content as a key resource for cash-stricken shoppers. It found that many 'reluctant shoppers' (61%) can be positively influenced by products reviews, blogs and rating sites. Such is their need for justification, many (42%) will visit three sites or more before they make up their mind.

According to David Selinger, CEO of richrelevance, the must-have functionality for this year is personalized recommendations. Following retailer websites (89%), search (86%) and manufacturer websites (78%), customer reviews and ratings was the most-used peer-generated content. In addition, 66% found "people who bought" recommendations useful, 65% used "recently viewed" recommendations and 61% preferred email recommendations, found the study.

"Shoppers trust and use the opinions of others in making choices about products and brands," added Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. "As consumers head to the web to research online and offline purchases, companies have a tremendous opportunity to provide them with the authentic user-generated content that is proven to build confidence, increase satisfaction, and drive sales."






Tags: Bazaarvoice, customer reviews, online shopping, peer-generated content, ratings and reviews, recommendations, richrelevance, search








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  • Ratings and reviews are a great tool for consumers. BUT online ratings and reviews lie.

    There are four key ways in which they can be dishonest, you can read about them here: ratings and reviews lie





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