Couple using a laptop computer, sitting at home.A recent study by Lightspeed Research has confirmed that “consumers overwhelmingly rely on online reviews and price comparisons to research products and services before making a purchase“.

The study continues to state that 47% of consumers rely on online reviews about products or services on company websites over newspapers, magazines or social networking sites before making a purchase decision.

These results highlight the importance for organisations to have up-to-date reviews on their own company website.

Some more interesting results:

On social networking sites
Only 7% of survey respondents said they look for product reviews from friends and family on social networking sites. Marketing Director at Lightspeed Research, Naor Chazan confirmed; “Consumers turn most readily to search engines, consumer reports, shopping websites, and review communities for their research, while social networking sites sit at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum.”

With companies such as Digital Visitor providing review and online community solutions, organisations can now easily add this functionality to their own website to enable their online visitors to share experiences, therefore providing potential customers with the peer reviews they search for before making a purchasing decision.

On trust
73 % said they trust Consumer Reports, followed by the opinions and experiences of other consumers at 62% and recommendations from family, friends and colleagues at 58%.

Having provided hundreds of solutions for organisations in the travel and leisure industry, one of the things we have found clients are most wary of is negative reviews. Our in-house research has found that organisations who give their customers the opportunity to share their experiences on their own website, in fact receive 80-90% positive reviews. In the case of an in appropriate or unfair review, our clients are sent notifications each time a review is uploaded, therefore giving them the opportunity to deal with it before the review is posted live.

Marketing Director at Lightspeed Research, Naor Chazan further stated that; “Consumers are more likely to share a negative experience over a positive one, and they can be dissuaded from a purchase decision after reading just a couple of bad reviews. With high value being placed on the opinions of other people, and the speed at which consumers can obtain these reviews on the fly, brands are wise to invest in monitoring and responding to customer feedback.”

Not only can Digital Visitor provide you with the features you need to gather experiences and build your own online community; we also provide social media services to help spread your message to other popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn AND provide a monitoring service to ensure you know what is being said about you in the social media world.

Contact us today to find out more about our review solution and our social media marketing services.

To read the full report click here