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How Online Reviews Spark Shopping Decisions

Online Reviews affects decisions

Digested from Yardi

A strong majority (88 percent) trust online reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations.

When shopping online do you check out a product’s reviews on Yelp or Amazon beforehand? If you do, you are not alone, writes Emily Cheng for Yardi.

Recent studies show 90 percent of people say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. Almost as many (88 percent) trust online reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations. A recent Harvard study found that restaurants that boost their Yelp rating by one star see an increase in revenues anywhere from 5 percent to 9 percent, according to Cheng.

“It is no surprise that businesses around the world are deciding to pour resources into obtaining more reviews for their products in hopes of generating more sales,” Cheng says. “Businesses increase the incentives for leaving reviews by using tactics such as giving set discount amounts in their customers’ purchase, or even providing credit that can be redeemed on their website for future use.”

Users often weigh the number of reviews and quality of reviews when evaluating authenticity. Half of the 88 percent of people that trust online reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations, place importance on the number of reviews. The other half value the quality of reviews.

“In a world where a star can dictate the success or the failure of a business, the importance of maintaining the integrity of online reviews is growing,” Cheng writes. “Generating a positive online presence has become one of the strongest marketing assets for businesses.”

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