Altruism Among Internet Users? Could It Be?

Main reason for writing reviews is to be helpful, survey finds

Author: eMarketer Editors

March 24, 2017

Surveys have found that varying levels of consumers write reviews online, but a new study suggests more than three-quarters would be willing if they were asked.

And their reasons for leaving reviews paint an unexpectedly pleasant portrait of internet users in an age of trolls and political vitriol. For many internet users, the reason to write a review is to provide assistance—either to inform others or help them make a decision, or even just to provide helpful feedback to the business.

The survey, from review platform Podium, found widespread enthusiasm for reading online reviews: Some 93% of internet users said reviews have an effect on their purchase decisions.

Almost 60% of respondents said they look at online reviews for local businesses at least once per week, and more than eight in 10 said reviews have convinced them to make a purchase.

The results of the survey mesh with data from other sources, both in terms of writing reviews and consumers’ enthusiasm for reading them.

For instance, a survey by AYTM Market Research in July 2016 found that more than 80% of US internet users leave online reviews at least occasionally. And roughly 45% said they leave reviews at least half of the time after making a purchase.

In terms of reading reviews, a November 2016 survey by Radial found that 49% of US Amazon buyers said product reviews are the primary influence on their purchase decisions.