It’s no surprise the internet and smart devices have drastically changed how people shop. Rather than speaking to a salesperson in-store, people are using the web to investigate businesses, products, and others. Online reviews may seem subjective and of little importance to some, but they can play a huge role.
To better understand the impact of online reviews and how customers interact with them, we conducted a digital marketing survey of over 1,000 midwest shoppers. We found people are leaving more online reviews than in previous years, and reviews are playing a larger role in the buying process. If you’re wondering how online reviews affect your business, stay tuned. We’ve outlined some important findings from our digital marketing report, Digital State of the Midwest.
Know Your Audience: Who Reads Online Reviews?
For many shoppers, checking online reviews is an essential step of the buying process whether they are shopping for a car or a new coffee pot. Yet, the likelihood of your customer reading reviews depends on a few factors. For example:
Those aged 18-34 are the most likely to rely on reviews, 66% stated reviews impacted their purchasing decisions.
Women are 18% more likely than men to read reviews.
Reading online reviews isn’t just helpful for the customer but can also provide valuable insight for the company. People are much more likely to leave a review than speak with the company directly. So, reviews can help you understand customers’ feelings and perceptions about the brand.
In addition to shoppers’ experiences, factors like age and gender impact their probability of leaving a review.
Consumers aged 18-54 are 25% more likely to leave online reviews than those ages 55+.
Men are 11% more likely to leave a review when they had a good experience.
Those with children at home are more likely to leave reviews than those without children at home.
When looking at reviews by industry, we found transactional businesses are more likely to get reviews than single purchase businesses. For example, restaurants are the most likely to receive reviews while banks/financial institutions were the least likely.