Reading online reviews and making a purchase decision based on them has become very common these days. People trust what other people say and experience.
But a recent study by Cone Communications reveals that 4 out of 5 consumers change their minds about recommended products based solely on the negative reviews that they find online. Compared to 2010, this number has increased by 67%, thus implying the strong influence these product reviews are having on consumers.
It’s not only the negative reviews, positive reviews do tend to influence the purchasing decisions. As per the results, 85% of people have said that they are more likely to buy the product if the reviews are positive.
While researching product information on websites is most popular, consumers are also moving towards rating websites and blogs of experts. The number of people who gather information from social networks and their friends is less compared to other places but is still significant.
However, one of the most interesting finding is that consumers tend to believe a source less trusthworthy if he/she has lot of followers or fans on social networks. I suppose people have started understanding that a lot of followers might not necessarily mean expertise, followers can be purchased also and exagerated numbers can be filled with fake accounts as well.
The growing impact of negative reviews on consumers is something that marketers should be watchful of. It takes less than 10 minutes for a disgruntled consumers to go online and post negative things about a product. It now becomes very important for companies to keep their eyes open and read what is being said about their products online. If there is something negative, it is very important to reach out and make amends accordingly. Damage control is the new mantra.
Moving onwards it is imperative for brands to make your consumers your brand ambassador. Give them what they want, offer them satisfaction and they will do the publicity for you for free.