How do Customer Reviews Influence the Purchase Process

Why are reviews important?

The internet has become an increasingly popular platform for shopping, with Australians spending $62.3 billion online in 2021, according to Australia Post. Ecommerce has changed the way we shop, and it has also changed the way consumers make decisions. When purchasing items online, customers are left without the option to physically see the item they are purchasing, or to interact with a salesperson in the store. This is why customer reviews have become an essential part of the consumer decision making journey.

The decision-making journey consists of multiple stages. Consumers will recognise a problem, search for a solution, assess the alternatives, make a purchase, and then make an after-purchase assessment. In the assessment of alternatives and making a purchase stages, consumers will be looking for motivation to purchase a specific product or service, and a good review is the perfect stimulus for motivation.

Consumers want to know other people’s opinions of products and services, as it makes them more secure in their decision to make a purchase. In an ecommerce environment, a customer review is equivalent to a personal recommendation, with 94% of consumers reporting that a good customer review had influenced them to make a purchase, according to The Chat Shop.

On the other hand, a negative customer review can have detrimental impacts for confidence in a business offering. Considering consumers will look at reviews when assessing alternative solutions, if one product or service has negative reviews, and another only has positive, it becomes an easy choice for the customer.

Negative reviews also carry more weight than positive reviews. While a product or service may have several positive reviews, a single negative review may cause a consumer to rethink their purchase. Research conducted by Dixa found that only 47% of consumers will write a review on a product or service if they have had a positive experience, while 95% will write a review if they have had a negative experience. This highlights the weight that a negative review carries, but also demonstrates the importance of responding to and addressing any negative reviews.

Another benefit to customer reviews, is they can influence consumers to purchase a more expensive product, even when there is a cheaper alternative. According to the Spiegel Research Center, displaying reviews for products at a higher price point can increase purchases by up to 380%. Additionally, a study by Podium found that 68% of consumers are willing to pay up to 15% more for the same product or service if it has more positive reviews.

What can brands do?

So, how can your business utilise customer reviews? Firstly, if your business does not currently display customer reviews or testimonials, it is time to start. A business that has no reviews, neither positive nor negative, raises concerns to customers. Research from G2 found that 92% of customers will hesitate when making a purchase if there are no customer reviews.

Reviews and testimonials are a tool for building trust and credibility, which are essential for the success of a business.

In addition to displaying your businesses customer reviews, it is equally important that you respond to customer reviews.

Consumers expect businesses to respond to reviews, and doing so will increase a business’s credibility. Responding to reviews also allows a business to redirect the narrative in the case of a negative review. Research from ReviewTrackers found that 94% of consumers have chosen not to purchase a product or service based on a negative review. This highlights the importance of responding to reviews, as customers are given the opportunity to resolve the issue that the negative review may be about. A resolution to an issue raised in a negative review will likely change a consumer’s perception of the negative review, and further increase the businesses credibility.

How can your business get positive reviews?

Customer reviews are an essential component to ensuring the success of your business, but how do you get positive reviews?

Engaging with your customers on social media is the first step to generating positive reviews. Interact with customers on your social media platforms, responding to any questions or comments they may have. This increases the likelihood of a customer then leaving a positive review of your business.

You should also invite your customers to leave reviews. Whether this be through email, text, or a social media post, prompting customers to leave a review will make them more likely to do so. An incentive could also be offered for leaving a review, such as receiving a discount.

Responding to comments will also increase the likelihood of other customers leaving reviews. If customers see that a business is actively engaging with their business reviews, they will see more value in leaving a review of their own. Additionally, the more customer reviews there are for a business, the more likely new customers are to also leave a review.

NOUS has designed and launched hundreds of websites – from simple brochure website designs to powerful e-commerce systems. Get in touch with the team at [email protected] or call us on 07 3003 0722.


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