How Online Reviews Vary by Consumer

Younger internet users are more likely to post evaluations

Author: Rimma Kats

December 14, 2017

A Q3 2017 study from GlobalWebIndex found a contrast in the way younger and older internet users worldwide use reviews.

Younger respondents were more likely to post online reviews than use them for product research. In fact, 47% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 52% of those ages 15 to 34 said they’ve posted online reviews within the past month. But just 31% of respondents ages 16 to 24, and almost as many 15- to 34-year-olds, said they’ve used reviews for product research. 

When looking at their older cohorts, the roles are reversed. Older respondents prefer to use reviews for product research rather than post them. Indeed, more than four in 10 (42%) respondents ages 55 to 64 said they use reviews when considering a purchase. Just 28% of those in the same age group said they post online reviews.

Just how influential are reviews? A survey of US internet users from Better Business Bureau and Nielsen found that over half of respondents “always” or “often” use ratings and online reviews to inform their purchasing decisions. Similar to the GlobalWebIndex study, Better Business Bureau and Nielsen also found that younger respondents were slightly more likely to use reviews than their older counterparts.