Online Reviews Score High Marks From Women

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A recent study finds that 92% of women say online reviews are very or extremely important.

As a bride-to-be, I feel like I have a never-ending to-do list. From choosing a venue to researching centerpieces, there are a number of major and minute tasks to address. Two months ago I decided to tackle the engagement photo shoot, so my fiancé and I would have some photos for our save-the-date notice.

But like most brides, I wanted everything to be perfect. So, instead of trying to choose a photographer at random, I turned to ratings and reviews.

I started my search by viewing an online directory of photographers provided by wedding authority The Knot. There, I could filter photographers by style, price, and service. Once I narrowed down my options, I was able to check out the reviews and star ratings the photographers had accumulated from former customers.

After I felt like I had found “the one,” I visited the photographer's professional website to view her portfolio. I then typed her name into Google to search for even more ratings and reviews. Hey, I had to be sure.

But choosing the photographer wasn't the only time I leveraged reviews while making arrangements for the photo shoot. I told a friend of mine that I was looking to get my hair and makeup done before the shoot, and she recommended using an app called GlamSquad—an on-demand in-home beauty service. She showed me some pictures of the looks GlamSquad had given her for a wedding a few weeks back. And while I trusted her recommendation, I wanted to be sure the app would work for me. So, what did I do? You guessed it: I turned to ratings and reviews and read accounts from other women who had used the app in the past.

By the time the engagement shoot came along, I felt informed and knew I had made the right decisions. And when my fiancé and I saw the pictures, we were happy with the results. I even recommended the photographer to a coworker for a family photo shoot, thus completing the review cycle. 

Now, some may think that I went overboard with the ratings and reviews. But it looks like I'm not alone in my feedback frenzy. According to the “2015 Influence Central E-commerce Research Study,” 92% of the 500 women surveyed say online reviews are very or extremely important and 85% say they seek reviews for specific products they want to buy always or most of the time. 

Here are some more key data points from the Influence Central study.

New products demand new research
The percentage of woman who...
  • 96%: Consider online reviews very or extremely influential when evaluating a new product from an unknown brand
  • 78%: Say online reviews are very or extremely influential when considering a new product from a known brand
  • 66%: Read reviews only for products they've never purchased before
  • 34%: Read reviews for products they've purchase before

Amazon remains king

  • 94%: Women who consider Amazon's reviews very or extremely important when making a purchase
  • 61%: Women who trust Amazon's reviews more than product reviews from a specific store site

Women who consider reviews from the following sites very or extremely credible:

  • 85%: Amazon
  • 78%: Target
  • 69%: Best Buy
  • 68%: Walmart
  • 62%: Trip Advisor
  • 60%: Kohl's
  • 57%: Toys R Us

Consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations, but can still spot a fake
The percentage of woman who...

  • 10%: Trust personal recommendations much more than online reviews
  • 87%: Believe that online reviews are genuine
  • 77%: Consider themselves very or extremely discerning when determining whether to trust an online review
  • 97%: Say they can tell if a reviewer is trustworthy always or most of the time
  • 89%: Say they can tell if a reviewer is biased always or most of the time

Reviews sway purchases
The percentage of woman who...

  • 84%: Purchase online after reading an online review
  • 56%: Say a negative review would prevent them from purchasing
  • 90%: Say multiple negative reviews would prevent them from purchasing
  • 95%: Agree that online reviews are more important than help from a salesperson
  • 80%: Would purchase a product without online reviews
  • 92%: Would go to another site to find online reviews if a product didn't have any

DMNotes is DMN's around-the-clock blog. Yes, a blog in 2016.

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