Are Your Online Reviews Hurting You?

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 30 Aug, 2011

A new study shows that negative online reviews and comments strongly influence the purchasing decisions of consumers.

The study, taken by Cone Inc., found that 89 percent of consumers trust online reviews, and while 80 percent of consumers have changed their mind about purchases based on negative information that they found online, 87 percent claim that positive reviews reinforce their purchasing decisions.

Additional information from the study showed that 85 percent of consumers research products or services online before they decide to make a purchase, and 85 percent of consumers also claim that they were more likely to purchase products or services when they can find online recommendations.

However, there are many reasons why consumers go online to research products and services. According to the study, 69 percent go online to research a product or service, 64 percent search for consumer reviews, 50 percent search for rating websites, 43 percent search for opinions from experts, 42 percent read articles or blog posts about products or services, and 12 percent solicit opinions from their social networks.

The study also showed that consumers are more likely to research a high or moderate cost item, especially when it is a product or service that they are not familiar with or that they will own for many years.

The industries that the study shows are most researched by consumers are electronics and household appliances followed by automotive and transportation and then telecommunications.