Study: Negative Reviews Grow More Powerful

Negative consumer reviews online are becoming increasingly important to would-be buyers, according to a new study, with 80% of consumers saying they have changed their mind about a purchase after reading a thumbs-down report.

That's up from 67% last, according to the new 2011 Online Influence Trend Tracker from Cone Inc., a Boston-based cause-related marketing firm.

"Negative information is now just as powerful as positive information," Mike Hollywood, Cone's director of new media, tells Marketing Daily. "For marketers, that means that leaving your head in the sand and just letting people make negative comments, isn't working any longer. Reaching out and trying to make the consumer experience better, even if you can't solve the problem, is important."

The good news is that word-of-mouth for positive reviews has swayed 87% of shoppers, confirming their decision to purchase. And nearly 90% say they find online channels a trustworthy source for product and service reviews.

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