Online reviews are having a significant impact on British businesses, with the potential to generate 40 per cent additional revenue each year – that’s according to a survey of over 2,000 UK consumers
The study, conducted by online review community platform Trustpilot, found that 77 per cent of UK consumers internet shopping will look towards online reviews before making their purchasing decision.
British consumers are leaving their shopping fate in the hands of online reviewers, with 62 per cent claiming they’re more likely to do business with a company after reading a positive review and one in five spending at least 10 per cent more with that same company. 16-24 year olds are even more influenced by online reviews, with 44 per cent saying they would spend at least 25 per cent more money with a business that they’ve read a positive online review about.
In contrast, the survey reveals that almost all British consumers (89 per cent) are influenced by negative reviews, with 78 per cent claiming it could deter them from making a purchase altogether. For those businesses looking to cash in on the January sales, it takes on average just 3-4 online negative reviews before consumers (38 per cent) stop purchasing from a brand.
Retailers hesitant to find out what their customers really think should be not put off however, as the survey suggests it’s equally important for a company to respond to criticism – 15 per cent say they are more likely to do business with a company after reading a response to a negative review that was resolved.
To calculate the financial impact of online reviews on the UK ecommerce industry, Trustpilot partnered with renowned Cambridge University mathematician William Hartston, to develop a formula to calculate the economic impact of online reviews on UK businesses (see notes below).
Online reviewer behaviour:
• 60 per cent of consumers have written an online review in the past year – of which 83 per cent have been positive
• 59 per cent of people write negative reviews to protect others from a bad experience
• Women are more influenced by reading positive reviews (67 per cent) compared to men (55 per cent)
Peter Mühlmann, Trustpilot CEO, says: “The old days of broadcasting engineered marketing messages at consumers doesn’t work. Today’s consumers believe in their fellow buyers and have the power – because of social media – to make or break a business. As Nielsen’sGlobal Trust in Advertising report demonstrated, opinions posted by consumers online (both good and bad) are the most trusted form of advertising today. Our research highlights the significant impact that online reviews are having on purchasing decisions, and ultimately to the British economy, showing that customer service has to be an absolute priority for any business
“The fact that two in five have never written an online review, yet 77 per cent say online reviews help them make a purchasing decision shows that we need to encourage more people to share in their experiences, whether good or bad,” says Peter.
“We find that many retailers are reluctant to ask for reviews as they’re worried about what their customers might say, but the reality is that most serve a raft of satisfied customers. People accept that brands aren’t perfect, so negative reviews are to be expected – the acid test is how you handle them.”