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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 27, 2010

Consumers put more faith in online product reviews

Consumers are affording online product reviews more trust and increasing their reliance on them, according to a new social shopping study.

by Helen Leggatt

The "2010 Social Shopping Study", conducted by the e-tailing group and PowerReviews, found that over half (57%) of shoppers count online product reviews by other customers to be a valuable research source.

Although they don't always believe what they read, credibility is one of the top reasons why people prefer to research online rather than talk to a salesman.

In fact, of all website features that influence product and purchase decisions, nearly three-quarters (72%) said customer reviews and ratings are the most important followed by customer service information (69%) and third-party buying category guides and expert opinions (64%).

Other consumer-generated content that the 1,000 or so online shoppers involved in the study found persuasive were top-rated product lists (60%), customer-supplied product photography (39%) and customer-supplied product videos (24%).

"Product reviews will continue to become an essential part of online shopping," said Pehr Luedtke, CEO of PowerReviews. "As the Web and shopping becomes more social, reviews will support the foundation of that experience."

Tags: consumer generated content, e-commerce, online product reviews, product research

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