Importance of web reviews on the rise
Companies need to be increasingly aware of the rise in importance of online reviews, a new survey has found. Consumers said they were more likely to check online for reviews prior to making a purchase compared to twelve months ago, according to the survey by Brand Reputation.
Over 800 consumers were quizzed about the influence of online reviews on their purchase decisions by the brand communication agency during August and September, and revealed that they relied heavily on online reviews for:
Consumer electronics 56%
Home Furnishings 33%
White Goods 45%
DIY & Gardening 18%
Entertainment Products 12%
Sports Goods 9%
With Christmas just around the corner, Brand Reputation CEO Graeme Crossley says that retail brands in particular should take stock of the changes happening in the sector and adapt their strategies to take account of the multiple influences that now affect consumer purchase decisions.
He added: “Traditional consumer insight methodologies are no longer sufficient in understanding buyer behaviour and brand owners need to have a significantly deeper level of understanding of what motivates and influences consumer attitudes.
“A customer that has a good experience will typically tell 3 to 5 people, but a customer who has a poor experience will tell more than 20. When this is trend occurs via the web, these numbers can rapidly multiply and could spell disaster for brands that don’t have strategies in place to combat online negative chatter,” said Crossley.
But he added, this isn’t just about adopting trendy new social media strategies or having a fan group on Facebook.
“It is about directly interacting with your customers wherever they choose to have conversations about you. Customers expect and want to engage in two-way dialogue with the brands they use. The Internet should not just be viewed as a sales channel or an additional way to advertise your brand but as a method of communication,” said Crossley.