A new study published by online review platform Feefo has revealed that almost two-thirds of eCommerce customers trust what they read on online review websites.
Based on a survey of 2,000 UK adults, the research has revealed that 64% of consumers feel their buying decisions are influenced by the comments they find on online review platforms. The study also found that almost half of consumers are more likely to trust closed review platforms than open review platforms, presumably due to their reliable nature of customer-only feedback.
According to the new survey, which was conducted this year, 72% of customers have left a review for a product or service they have purchased in the last 12 months. This figure suggests that it’s important to deliver consistent customer service throughout the purchase princess, which should ensure all possible reviewers are satisfied with their experience.
Not only can this approach strengthen loyalty amongst established customers, but the study suggests it could have a significant influence on the percentage of potential buyers who complete their purchase after reading reviews.
The findings also indicate that businesses should encourage satisfied customers to publish a review on an independent review site, which should help boost brand loyalty for new and return customers alike.
The study explored a number of additional factors that affect buyer behaviour when shopping online. For example, 62% of purchasers consider themselves to be more balanced, cautious and conservative when buying online – this figure reinforces the idea that businesses have to deliver a strong, positive and consistent online brand image to encourage potential buyers to complete their purchase.
Commenting on the findings, Richard Tank, Head of Digital at Feefo, suggested that businesses need to spend more time listening to consumers if they want to ensure their online business grows and succeeds. Tailored services were highlighted by Mr Tank as being particularly appealing to customers and can be applied throughout the purchase process.
He said: ‘Today’s digital landscape is ever-changing and businesses have to meet the needs of their customers across the whole purchase journey in order to maintain sales and brand loyalty. The findings of this survey emphasise that.’
‘Consumer confidence and trust is essential to developing an online business that grows, and lasts,’ Mr Tank added, highlighting the value that reviews have to play in building consumer confidence, trust and transparency.