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Consumer Review Said to Be THE Most Powerful Purchase Influence

According to a new study released by Weber Shadwick, consumers pay more attention to other consumers’ reviews when making electronics purchases. It’s become more important than traditional editorial types of reviews. Not surprising and my guess is that many of those reviews are coming through social media and bloggers. Here’s more:
According to a just released study from Weber Shandwick with KRC Research, the majority consumer electronics purchasers are inspired by a consumer review when selecting which brand to purchase. The average buyer consults 11 consumer reviews on the path to purchase.

Bradford Williams, president of Weber Shandwick’s North American Technology Practice, commented that “… the study sheds new light on… shoppers use of user reviews… (and) traditional editorial reviews in the purchase process… consumer reviewers are… the most powerful force…  savvy marketers  listen to, manage and… harness their considerable might… “

Williams noted that while consumer electronics buyers pay more attention to other consumers’ reviews than editorial reviews, by a margin of more than three to one, they are concerned about the authenticity of consumer reviews (80%), leading them to conduct considerable analysis before making their decision.

Key findings from the report:

  • Buyers invest deliberate effort into making a well-informed decision, conducting multiple activities to gather opinions, reading an average of 11 consumer reviews, evaluating review authenticity and demonstrating tolerance for negative reviews.
  • 88% of consumers say they are somewhat or very knowledgeable about consumer electronics, yet still consult reviews, consumer and/or professional, when looking to make a purchase.
  • Consumers pay more attention to consumer reviews (77%) than professional critic reviews (23%). The gap between consumer and professional reviews closes noticeably for more advanced technologies like tablets and computers.
  • In consumer reviews, the most helpful ones are those that seem fair and reasonable, are well-written, and contain statistics, specifications and technical data. Surprisingly, named (vs. anonymous) reviews are not as important as these other elements in consumers’ minds.
  • Shoppers trust consumer reviews on Amazon.com (84%) and BestBuy.com (75%) the most, topping Consumer Reports (72%). Consumers show no apparent discomfort in getting their research from a seller of the products they’re considering.

For more information about the study and to access the executive summary, go here.

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