- More than half of shoppers read online reviews before buying on the web, says a new study of consumer data from ratings and reviews firm Bazaarvoice.
- Roughly four out of five shoppers consult their mobile devices before making a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store, the study indicates.
- More than half (54%) of shoppers aged 25 to 35 years old read online reviews before shopping in stores, Bazaarvoice found.
Peer reviews are a powerful motivator for online and in-store purchases, according to a new study of retailer data from Bazaarvoice. Asking patrons on whether they had read online reviews and other information prior to purchase, 54% of online buyers had read reviews, and 39% of in-store buyers did the same.
The study also found that shoppers using their mobile devices to compare prices and product information while in stores has doubled from 18% to 39% in the last seven months. Still, showrooming seems to be less of a force than so-called “webrooming,” the study indicated, with 82% of shoppers consulting online resources via before buying in-store.
Many of the product categories leading in research activity were typical of a "considered" purchase: appliances (58%), electronics (54%), men’s apparel (49%), and toys and games (44%). Reviews influenced an outsized share of the dollars spent in-store on cameras, gaming consoles and flatscreen TVs, Bazaarvoice noted.
Certain products practically demand additional research when shopping online in the absence of in-person assessment or customer consultation. The study reported that 70% of online shoppers who bought cookware consulted online reviews first, while only 28% of in-store buyers did so.
Why are reviews so important to consumers? The implied transparency helps establish authenticity and trust, PowerReviews CEO Matt Moog told Retail Dive last year. And beyond the benefits of increased conversion and improved SEO, customer reviews (even the bad ones) offer unique perspectives on the user experience, Moog said.
“Negative reviews are essential to building consumer trust,” he explained. “If all you do is present glowing, positive reviews, it really reduces credibility. We have found that the majority of consumers actually seek out negative reviews as a way of confirming credibility, and also determining that the things in the negative reviews seem relevant.”