There’s nothing more valuable to a brand’s reputation with buyers than authenticity, and there’s no better way to demonstrate it than with online reviews. According to new research from small biz-focused review website Digital.com, more than half (54 percent) of online shoppers read reviews for everything they buy. Nearly 4 in 10 (39 percent) say businesses with more than 100 reviews seem more trustworthy.
The firm’s recent survey report, conducted by Pollfish, examines the importance of online customer reviews. Respondents shared their online shopping habits, product reviews they read, and how product reviews influence their purchasing decisions.
Key findings show 30 percent of male shoppers believe positive reviews impact their purchasing decisions, while 22 percent of female shoppers say customer reviews influence their behavior. Free shipping is more important for women, with 26 percent saying it is the biggest factor in their purchasing decisions. Meanwhile, 19 percent said they only read reviews for purchases over $100.
“Today’s consumer is well-informed and not easily swayed by flashy advertising or celebrity endorsements,” said Huy Nguyen, digital marketing executive, in a news release. “Online customer reviews not only build credibility, but they also shorten the sales cycle by allowing customers to see feedback on a product and immediately make a purchase.”
The study suggests that most shoppers read at least three reviews before buying a product online. Eighty-eight percent of respondents say they read three or more reviews, 40 percent read four to nine reviews, and 27 percent read 10 or more. In contrast, only 5 percent of respondents don’t read any reviews, regardless of what they buy.
Of course, there are issues plaguing the authenticity of the reviews themselves, as a significant number of consumers aren’t convinced that all of a brand’s reviews are genuine, as this graph from the study shows:
The study highlights responses from 1,250 online shoppers in the United States on May 17, 2021, administered by Pollfish. Research experts evaluated data segmentation based on age, gender, and income level.