Record Number Of Product Reviews Driving Search, Purchases

Some search marketers call "reviews" their BFFs as Google's engineers continue to tweak search algorithms that serve the perfect content as answers to search queries.

Based on a survey of 11,255 women in the U.S. across generations X, Y and Z, Influenster analyzed how their review community of more than 2 million shop and use product reviews to influence their purchase decisions.

While Gen X and Y rely primarily on traditional product reviews to make shopping decisions, Gen Z relies on product reviews via social media to inform their purchase decisions. Some 70% of Gen Z watch YouTube videos daily, compared with 49% of Gen X. 

Gen Xers like how-to videos, while Gen Y and Z look for product review videos. Gen Zers also watch unboxing, haul, style, vlog, comedy, prank and gaming videos much more than other generations. 

BFF, or Best Friends Forever, sometimes translates into a love relationship between the brand and consumer that began with a product review. About 72% of women trust a product page based on the total number of reviews -- the more the better. More than half of women need to see a minimum of 50 reviews on a product review page before trusting the page to be reliable. About 61% said they look for the ratio of positive to negative reviews, while 43% analyze the credibility of the review site, 40% look for the credibility of the reviewer, 26% look for when the review was posted, and 25% look for whether or not the reviewer received the product as a sample.

In general, 77% of women seek out product reviews because they plan to make a purchase. Some 44% of women spend at least 20 minutes researching product reviews before making a purchase, while about 72% of women trust a product page based on the total number of reviews on the page and more than half of consumers need to see a minimum of 50 reviews on a product review page before trusting the page to be reliable.

Overall, 82% of women participating in the survey cited quality as the No. 1 priority for choosing a product, but 58% cited reviews, while 50% cited discounts or sales, 34% cited free shipping, 24% cited brand name, and 11% said photos of people using the brand or product had an influence on them making the purchase.

Some 68% of women are influenced to make a purchase based on product reviews, 56%; social media, 55%, word of mouth; 25%, advertisement; 21%, blog post; 8%, print magazine ad; 8%, catalog; 6%, news Web site; and 5% newspaper. 

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