New research from ratings and reviews provider PowerReviews details how consumer dependence on customer reviews has evolved over the past three years.
The firm’s new report, The Growing Power of Reviews, is based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers and follows a similar PowerReviews study from 2014, measuring how the importance of consumer reviews has steadily increased over the last four years.
“Customer reviews have changed the way shoppers research, discover and purchase products both online and in-store. Brand-provided information is no longer enough. Today’s consumers have come to expect easily accessible information to aid their purchase decisions, and the number of shoppers who rely on information from fellow consumers increases each year,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer of PowerReviews, in a news release.
“Our survey found that reviews have a larger impact on purchasing decisions than recommendations from family and friends, the brand of the product and the availability of free shipping,” Moog added.
The study reveals insights into consumer behavior, their shopping habits and how they rely on authentic user-generated content. Key findings include:
- 97 percent of consumers consult product reviews while 85 percent of consumers seek out negative reviews before making a purchase.
- Over one-third of shoppers won’t purchase products in a brick-and-mortar store without first consulting reviews.
- Today, 50 percent of consumers write reviews for products they’ve purchased, an increase from 42 percent in 2014.
- The majority of consumers read between one and 10 reviews before making a purchase.