Commentary

Internet Reviewers Helping Others, But Cite Unethical Practices

According to a new study by YouGov, consumers don’t write online reviews to release anger. Instead, among US internet users who posted online customer reviews, the top reason for doing so was to help others make better purchasing decisions, cited by 62% of respondents. 35% shared because they thought it was polite to provide feedback, and around one-quarter wanted to let others know about their own good experience or make sure that good vendors got good business.

Reasons For Posting Online Consumer Reviews (US Internet Users; % Respondents In Each Group)

 

Age Group

Reason For Post

18-34

35-54

55+

Total

Help others make better purchase decisions

56%

62%

67%

62%

Polite to leave feedback

36

38

33

35

Share positive good experience

19

27

34

27

Make sure good vendors get business

18

25

30

25

Warn about bad experience

10

11

17

13

Expose bad vendors

8

10

16

12

Improve ranking as customer

6

10

3

7

Become well known reviewer

7

6

3

5

Source: YouGov, November 2014

13% wanted to warn readers about a bad experience, and only 12% posted reviews to “expose” bad vendors. While this is good news for businesses that don’t provide the best customer service, it also means that those who do want good reviews need to work extra hard to please customersm not just do what they need to do to get by during the purchase process, says the report.

YouGov respondents claimed to view online reviews positively, with 86% saying they were trustworthy, but further questioning suggested they did indeed have negative feelings about online review practices today.

64% of internet users said they thought individuals wrote online reviews without actually having purchased a product or service, and 68% believed businesses posted negative feedback about competitors’ products and services. Even more, 80% thought businesses wrote positive online reviews about themselves.

For additional information from eMarketer, please visit here.

 

 

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