MediaPost reports that a new study indicates people are becoming more trusting in online reviews:
Nearly 30% conduct just a few hours of research prior to making a purchase decision, while 60% conduct research for a week or more. Few consumers — 11% — fall between, and conduct research for just one day.
The study also found people strongly prefer to do their own research online rather than speak to a sales associate in the store. Respondents say online research is preferred for three reasons: the ability to save time, increase confidence, and provide credible information.
In fact, 64% in 2010 spent 10 minutes or more reading reviews, up from 50% in 2007, Luedtke says.
It’s interesting that 57% of online shoppers begin their product research at a search engine. The top three places consumers go for finding information on products are
- Retailer sites
- Brand sites
So the question for retailers with an online presence is this: Can online product reviews help you? I think they can.
If anything, online reviews get your name in front of consumers one more time before they purchase. Even if the decide to purchase from the competition, the fact that they have researched the product they want to buy and ran across reviews of your products says a lot. When they decide to purchase a similar product in the future they will remember the reviews and when they conduct their research again, if you have had mostly positive reviews then you could end up with a new customer.
Trust is the leading factor for people making a purchase online. It’s also the leading factor in why reviews are so important. Try to get customers to review your products on third party sites. It adds credibility to your brand.