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Recent survey indicates how reviews impact buying decisions

Once upon a time, the concept of requesting reviews from customers was a radical notion. The idea of displaying those comments for the world to see was an even more foreign concept to many businesses. Testimonials were not normally out on display. In the 2020 retail landscape, that has all changed.

Customer feedback is now an essential ingredient. Reviews play such a vital element. They are important in successfully promoting a business. As our survey shows, customer testimonials play an integral role in motivating shoppers to purchase from a particular brand. Reviews impact buying decisions.

Researching feedback is a form of Digital Due Diligence

Researching past feedback from previous customers is now considered essential homework before completing a transaction. Some would call this a form of digital due diligence.

A World of Instant Access to Customer Testimonials

How do I get more online reviews? Get more reviews online. Get more online reviews from customers.
Consumers can instantly look up reviews anywhere at anytime with their smartphone.

In today’s 2020 world, customers have instant access to customer feedback and use smartphones while shopping. User generated content helps them make informed buying decisions on the fly. Buyers immerse themselves in the consumer experience. of others to satisfy their need to make a calculated decision before making a purchase.

Studying buying habits & consumer trends of shoppers over a five year period determined that 95% of consumers rely on reviews to make a buying decision

More than 5 years ago, Manage Rep began to explore the buying habits and consumer trends that impact decision making behavior. Our studies discovered that nearly all consumers (over 95%) considered customer testimonials to be an essential factor.

How big an impact do customer ratings have?

Customer feedback plays a huge role. Reviews impacted not only the product or service they purchased, but the business they purchased it from. Negative feedback cost businesses sales and revenue.

Our study followed the buying habits of 1,000 U.S. consumers over 5 years. Research conducted during that time period showed a growing dependence on reviews over the span of 60 months. Which demonstrates a profound consumer reliance on user generated content during the buying process.

Latest research conducted in February of 2020 showed a growing trend in the number of shoppers who contributed their own feedback and reviews after making a purchase. The number of customers who submitted feedback on a retail or service purchase has steadily risen an average of 14% over the last 3 years.

Over 95% of consumers used reviews to make a buying decision.

How do you get a 5 star review? Secrets of generating 5 star reviews revealed.
Over 95% of consumers rely on customer feedback to make a buying decision.

Feedback and testimonials have transformed from “nice to have” to “must have” components in the shopping experience for consumers. When surveyed, over 85% of consumers stated customer reviews are the dominating factor on their decision making process.

Customers Won’t Buy Without Checking Feedback First

In fact, it’s become apparent that customer feedback is so fundamental in the shopping experience that over 70% of shoppers stated that they refuse to make a purchase without seeing testimonials from previous customers. Over 40% of consumers surveyed that they refuse to purchase from a brick & mortar store without reading previous customer feedback first.

85% of shoppers consider reviews to be an important resource when making a purchase

What does a reputation management company do?
Majority of shoppers surveyed will not shop at a brick & mortar without checking ratings.

It’s become glaringly apparent that reviews not only drive sales, but have an impact on potential customers and how they emotionally connect with brands. Consumers weigh a number of factors when making a purchase, including how businesses connect with their community. Customers want to see how businesses convey themselves.

Consumers indicated that they placed secondary value in how business owners handled and dealt with negative feedback on reviews. Businesses that demonstrated their ability to diffuse angry customers while promoting good customer service and fostering the customer experience online outperformed others 70% of the time in terms of removing negative reviews.

Statistics show how important reviews have become to the shopping experience

Research found that consumers rank the interaction that companies had with the customers that provided them with honest feedback the single most important factor when making a buying decision. Consumers have made it crystal clear that authentic testimonials impact how they perceive a brand. That trust factor is a force multiplier on sales.

Top 5 Factors That Impact Buyer Decisions

  1. Price
  2. Customer Reviews
  3. Referrals From Friends & Family
  4. Brand Name
  5. Warranty

When Comparison Shopping 70% of Shoppers Seek Out Companies With Reviews

What is a bad review? What do you do if you get a bad review? Handling bad reviews.
Customers are actively seeking reviews in order to make an informed buying decision.

In a study conducted in 2017 over a three year period, we determined that 70% of shoppers actively seek out companies with reviews when comparison shopping. Without differentiating factors like reviews, consumers will most frequently buy on price. This study shows the correlation between reviews and the impact it has become as a determinating factor when making buying decisions.

Reviews Have a Distinct Impact on Shopper Behavior

Brands and companies that opt not to show reviews will lose customers. Over 70% of shoppers refuse to purchase without reading reviews first. A trend that has grown from 50% in a study conducted in 2014.

How Many Reviews Do Shoppers Read Before Making a Purchase?

In a consumer study conducted in February 2020 of over 1,000 shoppers, 60% of consumers surveyed said they read between 1 and 10 reviews. 35% of shoppers said they read between 11 and 20 reviews. 10% of consumers surveyed they read more than 30 indivual customer experiences before making a purchase. Only 5% of consumers surveyed said they don’t read reviews and don’t look for them.

How do I get customers to leave reviews? How to get customers to review you. How to get customers to review.
The average customer reads at least 5 reviews about a company before making a purchase.

Negative Reviews Establish Trust

All businesses aim to convey a professional and trustworthy appearance to potential customers. Even the best of companies can’t be all things to all people and consumers don’t trust businesses that claim to be.

As our research study shows, probability of purchase increased to it’s maximum potential when consumers were presented with an aggragate rating between 4.3 and 4.6. Studies indicate a perfect 5-star rating is often perceived by consumers as “too good to be true”.

Probability of Purchase Increased 60% when star ratings were within 4.3 to 4.6

While a business never strives to achieve negative reviews, the presence of a few adds credibility and authenticity that helps build trust with consumers. In fact, negative reviews often drive consumers to the products that they actually best fits their particular needs and are an important resource to consumers.

85% of Consumers Want To Read Negative Reviews

The correlation between negative reviews and buying decisions is an important one. Studies indicate that negative feedback play an important role in how consumers perceive a brand, establish authenticity, and define certain intangible aspects of the buyer / seller dynamic. The number of consumers seeking negative reviews jumped to over 95% between the 18-29 age range of consumers.

Are people more likely to leave bad reviews? Why people leave negative reviews.
Customers read reviews and want to know the good, the bad and the ugly before buying.

Most consumers don’t write reviews for every product or service they consume

The number of consumers that took the time to write a review across all verticals and industries is vastly disproportioned to the total number of purchases made. When asked to consider the last 10 purchases made, only 5% of review writers reported leaving feedback for each item. In comparison, 33% of customers surveyed reported leaving feedback for at least 3 of the last items they purchased.

Final Thought: Not all Consumers Are Created Equally

Review writers typically want to help other consumers. Not all consumers are created equally so businesses find success in converting buyers into advocates and reviewers of their brand by doing the following:

  • Automating the review generation workflow to coincide with an optimum point in the sales cycle.
  • Generate positive reviews by funneling the most likely consumers to submit a review in a revolving set of social channels.
  • Finding non-monetary ways (establishing emotional connections with the brand) to incentivize them to participate in the customer feedback cycle.

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