Before Heading Out To The Shopping Wars, Consumers Strategize With Reviews

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Over the next month, stores won't be the only beneficiary of real and virtual foot traffic. With virtually 100% of consumers researching online before making a purchase, and 92% purchasing based on a blogger recommendation, per Influencer Central, review sites and shopping channels with review sites are likely to see a lot of activity as well. Shoppers are desperately seeking advice on what to buy, what to avoid and what price to pay for the right product. 

The Boston-based social marketing firm Influence Central, which operates Mom Central Consulting, Millennial Central and Dad Central, has some new data on how online reviews are affecting purchases and where the reviews are most viewed. 

According to the firm, 85% of women consumers say they consider e-commerce reviews extremely or very important when making a purchase. Shoppers use them to ensure quality, get insights when deciding between similar products, and to get the best deal. And 67% of them say they are more likely to buy if a product gets a high-star rating on a review, per the firm.



From the research, more than 90% of consumers said online review is more important than input from a salesperson. And after reading an online review and deciding to make a purchase, nearly 80% of consumers buy the product online. 

The study also finds that 88% of consumers say online reviews are influential when purchasing a new product from a brand with which they’re not familiar. If they are buying a new product from a brand they already know, 67% of women consumers still consider online reviews very influential.

The most popular site for reviews, per the study, is Amazon. Ninety percent of consumers that Influence Central polled said the site's reviews pushed them over the fence to buy or reject the product, and about 43% of consumers who check online reviews for items they’ve purchased before, do so to see if others have had a similar experience and also to see if there is a better product option. 

Consumers said that they regard themselves as "savvy discerners of reviews" per the firm, with 97% saying they can tell almost all of the time the credibility of a posted review.The three key determinants of trust for an online review: how much the person sounds like me, amount of detail in the review, and noted as a verified purchaser.

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