Just How Influential Are Online Reviews?

Over half of respondents use them often to help inform their purchasing decisions

Author: Rimma Kats

October 4, 2017

A survey of US internet users from Better Business Bureau and Nielsen found that more than half of respondents use ratings and online reviews “always” or “often” to inform purchasing decisions.

Millennials were slightly more likely to do so than their older counterparts. And overall, just 11% of respondents said they don’t rely on ratings or reviews to influence whether or not they will buy something.

Interestingly, while poor online ratings and reviews are one of the top factors that cause consumers to lose trust in a business, price can change their opinion of that. In fact, roughly one in three consumers say they would still purchase from a business that has poor ratings or reviews—if the price is right.

For the most part, consumers check ratings and reviews at least sometimes before they make a purchase, according to a May 2017 study from market researcher YouGov. And roughly one in three internet users always do so.

The data from YouGov aligns with other studies of consumers’ use of reviews. A December study from Pew Research Center found that 40% of US consumers read ratings and reviews “always or almost always,” while another 42% said they sometimes read them.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by TrustPilot last year revealed that 46.6% of internet users read reviews while on a company’s site, before they added a product to their cart.

Photo Credit: Raquel Martínez via Unsplash


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