Reviews generated by consumers have a direct effect on customers’ offline purchasing habits, according to a new study.

Research carried out by comScore and the Kelsey Group found that shoppers would pay 20 per cent more for goods rated “excellent” in a shopper review than those listed as “good”.

Some 24 per cent of internet users polled said they used online reviews before they used an offline service. Also, 41 per cent of people who checked restaurant reviews said that they subsequently dined at recommended establishments.

With those checking hotel reviews, 87 per cent said that it affected their purchase decision.

“These data show the importance of local service review sites in consumers’ purchase process,” Steve Marshall from the Kelsey Group said.

He added: “With such a large percentage of review users subsequently purchasing, it’s vital that local service providers have a positive presence on these review sites.”
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