Many consumers turn to online reviews to help inform their decision when researching a big-ticket product, according to new data from YA.
In fact, when researching an expensive item—$250 or more—online ratings and reviews were the most common source respondents consulted, more so than word-of-mouth, in-store sales associates or social networks.
But interestingly, while favorable reviews certainly affected their decision to buy one item over another—11.7% said they did—quality and price were more important. Roughly a third (32.4%) of respondents said quality is the primary factor in choosing to purchase a durable item, like a new computer or washing machine, and another 26.6% said price comes first.
YA's study is just one of many that looks at how influential online reviews are. Last year, the Better Business Bureau and Nielsen conducted a survey that revealed more than half of respondents used ratings and online reviews "always" or "often" to inform purchasing decisions.