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24% of consumers turned off after two negative online reviews
Nowadays very few consumers don't consult the Internet while researching products and services, found a new Lightspeed Research study, with online reviews playing a vital role.
Price comparison may well be the most popular research activity online during the purchase process, with 75% of those surveyed by Lightspeed Research having compared prices online in the last six months, but the online opinions and experiences of other consumers play a vital role, too, for many (61%).
Consumers expect to find product reviews on shopping websites (72%) while around half (47%) seek them out on company websites and 43% on price comparison sites. The majority use search engines to find reviews.
So influential are the opinions of others that over two-thirds (67%) of consumers would be deterred from purchasing a product or service if they were to encounter two or three negative reviews, found Lightspeed's online survey.
In fact, a quarter (24%) said they had changed their mind about buying a product or service after reading two bad reviews while a further 39% said three negative reviews would deter them from making a purchase.
Just 8% said they found online reviews unreliable.
Marketers shouldn't be distracted by new ways of consumer communication such as social media and mobile when basics such as online reviews are an expected and much-referenced resource for many consumers.
"Brands need to be aware of the influence that online reviews have, both positive and negative," said Ralph Risk, Marketing Director at Lightspeed Research Europe.
"There is a real danger that companies will focus on social media because it is so popular and in doing so miss out on the opinions that consumers actually value."
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