Online Reviews Influence Offline Sales
An October study by comScore and The Kelsey Group found that consumer-created
online reviews play a significant role in offline sales.
24 percent of those who eventually pay for local services -- such as restaurants, hotels and automotive shops -- read online reviews before making a choice. Of those who consulted an online review, 41 percent of restaurant reviewers subsequently visited a restaurant, while 40 percent of hotel reviewers subsequently stayed at a hotel. “These data show the importance of local service review sites in consumers’ purchase process,” said Steve Marshall, research director for The Kelsey Group. “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.”
More notable is that consumers were willing to pay at least 20 percent more for services receiving an "Excellent," or 5-star, rating that for the same service receive a "Good," or 4-star, rating. “This study underscores the importance of providing not just good, but excellent, service if a business hopes to generate positive consumer reviews which will result in greater sales,” said Brian Jurutka, senior director, comScore Marketing Solutions.