More Evidence Shows Power of Consumer Reviews

by Matt McGee

People are talking online. They’re talking about your company, your products, or perhaps your industry. And what they’re saying has a big impact on your chances of converting that next lead or closing that next sale.

Last month, Li made an impassioned case for conversations being the focus and goal of social media. Social media, she said, is an “opportunity for the general public to voice their opinions about brands, products, companies and their opinion of what is really relevant.”

The latest evidence proves that’s exactly what a lot of people are doing online. According to a survey done by the Opinion Research Corporation, reviews are a major influence on consumer decision-making. This isn’t new information, either; consumer reviews have been cited for years as a growing trend in determining who wins and loses online.

Here are some of the stats from the ORC survey:

  • 83% of respondents said online reviews had at least some influence on their purchasing decisions.
  • 70% said they look for reviews and information about particular types of products and services, with travel/recreation/leisure topping the list of most researched niches, and electronics right behind in 2nd
  • 61% look for online reviews before purchasing a new product or service

There’s no hiding from the power of consumer opinion online. If you’re a business owner, the time is now to make sure you know what’s being said about you, your products or services, and your industry as a whole.

You can download the ORC news release (24k PDF) for more background on the survey.

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3 thoughts on “More Evidence Shows Power of Consumer Reviews

  1. The power of user reviews for the hospitality industry has been a long term favorite of individuals going on a vacation or business trip. We have had numerous clients who have good visibility for the market place they were in and a competitive room rate. But once you look at their reviews at TripAdvisor where dozens of people have written about a dirty room or lousy service you will see a direct impact on their total reservations. That is one reason we and many others insist on online reputation management to assist us in their online marketing. They must improve on the under performing areas at the property to improve their bottom line and where better to do that than through researching user reviews.

  2. The power of online user reviews is huge, both in terms of influencing purchasing decisions and in terms of driving business owners absolutely crazy. I think the next wave of user review generated content is in the benefits and ‘mashed’ content available in an increasingly distributed / open API environment and in business owners realizing that actively engaging and responding to user reviews is not only a “cutting edge opportunity” but a sound business practice moving forward.

  3. it’s true. when looking at stuff online, customer reviews will usually sway my decision of which product to settle with.

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