A new research study by Digital.com found some interesting insights into how buyers are leveraging customer reviews to drive purchases. One of the key findings was that 54% of online shoppers read customer reviews before making any purchase.
That’s significant, and it again proves that customers trust other customers more than they trust brands.
Where Do Customer Reviews Fit Into the Buyer’s Journey?
Let’s revisit the Buyer’s Journey for a moment:
The Interested stage is where the customer does their research into the product or service that they are interested in purchasing. Typically, the average online shopper will use two sources for their research:
1 – Customer reviews
2 – Product information on the company website
The typical online shopper will usually go back and forth between these two sources. Once they are interested in a product, they will begin to look for content on the website that is product-specific. Then they will consult customer reviews to see what other customers thought about the product. Maybe they will find some customers complained about a certain product feature failing, or others might praise a certain feature. The online shopper will then go back and review product information to see if the product has those features.
The point is, the typical online shopper wants and seeks input from other customers before committing to a purchase. So think about how you can either incorporate customer reviews into your website alongside product information, or think of ways to engage your customers to give them the tools they need to sell on your brand’s behalf. A good brand ambassador program, for instance, gives your brand a way to empower your customers to sell to other customers.
Let’s look at some of the other key findings from Digital.com’s research:
88% of Online Shoppers Read at Least Three Customer Reviews Before Making a Purchase
Notice that two thirds, 67% of respondents, read 4+ customer reviews before committing to a purchase!
- Good reviews play the biggest role in online purchasing decisions
- 100+ reviews make a business trustworthy, say 39% of online shoppers
- 88% of online shoppers read at least 3 reviews before purchase
And I love this quote from Digital Marketing Executive, Huy Nguyen: “Review sentiment is important because consumers trust experiences of real users shared through images, video, and detailed explanations over what a brand might promote on their own.”
You can review all the findings from the research here.