Have you bought anything online without reading the product review first? Chances are, no. We love seeing what our fellow strangers think on just about everything and trust their opinion.
New research from eMarketer says that 92% of internet users read product reviews, and retailers are responding with over 80% of retailers planning to feature them by the end of 2010. And not only are shoppers reading reviews, but they’re spending a lot of time with them:
- 64% of shoppers took 10 minutes or more to read reviews, vs. 50% in 2007.
- 33% took a half hour or more to read reviews, vs. 18% in 2007.
- 39% read eight or more reviews before buying, vs. 22% in 2007.
- 12% read 16 or more reviews before buying, vs. 5% in 2007
Never fear though. Consumers are realistic about the validity of product reviews. Some 57% of shoppers trust customer reviews but place them in a supportive role to other information sources. Another 35% of respondents expressed mixed feelings by indicating that customer reviews are interesting but sometimes questionable in their authenticity.