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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 02, 2010

The persuasive power of product reviews

Channel Advisor's latest Consumer Shopping Habits Survey shows just how important a role customer reviews have to play in a consumer's online shopping experience.

by Helen Leggatt

channel advisor logo.jpgEvery year, consumers use the Internet to research and purchase gifts for the holiday season. According to Channel Advisor, this year is no different with over half (58%) of those surveyed planning to buy gifts online.

Search engines (59%) and marketplaces (28%) play a large role in the search for ideas, but there's another force at play - reviews. If Channel Advisor's figures are anything to go by reviews are immensely important in the decision buying process.

They found that 92% of consumers said they read online product reviews and that, of those readers, a whopping 83% were influenced by them. However, not all responses were positive with around half influenced to purchase based upon reviews, and just over 40% deterred from purchasing. Just 3% said their decision was unaffected by reviews they read.

Recent research by strategy and communications agency Cone appears to back up the Channel Advisor findings. Cone found that recommendations and advice from family and friends no longer puts the seal of approval on a person's decision to buy a product or service. Instead, over half (55%) turn to the advice of a stranger via online user reviews.

Tags: e-commerce, holiday shoppers, online shopping, product reviews

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