Skip to main content

How Independent Product Reviews Influence Buyers


According to a recent eMarketer report, a study of the typical online buying process has uncovered the journey for most people, and the growing number of resources that buyers rely on -- as they make their informed purchase decisions.

Research from GroupM Search and comScore highlights the increased use of another resource consumers are turning to in combination with their proven search engine usage -- that being, a variety social media content.

Skeptical marketers that question the influence of independent product reviews on purchasing habits now have reason to rethink that skepticism. eMarketer says that buyers who will purchase are almost as likely to use a combination of search and social resources (48 percent) as they are to just use search alone (51 percent).

Furthermore, when people were exposed to both brand-specific search results and social media, search click-through rates increased by 94 percent -- indicating how substantive product review content can help marketers to better influence their target consumers.

However, marketers wanting to capitalize on social media's role in vetting shortlists and identifying new brands must look beyond the standard social media channels -- such as Facebook and Twitter.

The Value of Detailed Product Application Reviews

Buyers researching brands on their product shortlist depend largely on their peer's opinions -- 30 percent of people surveyed rely on knowledgeable user reviews to aid in their purchase decision -- whereas only 17 percent and 9 percent turn to Facebook or Twitter, respectively.

In the 90 days leading up to purchase, less than 1 percent of all online purchasers engaged with brand-controlled social media from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube -- or ads and paid media on other high-traffic social sites.

In contrast, 16 percent of consumers engaged with industry-specific blogs offering expert opinions and product or service reviews. eMarketer believes that reliance on review-focused content makes it difficult for marketers to control consumer exposure to unapproved brand messages and interactions as consumers vet each brand on their shortlist.

That said, I know how reviews from credible independent sources (reviews not published on the retailer or vendor website) influence my own buying behavior. In fact, that was the catalyst for creating the Reviews section on Digital Lifescapes. I wanted to describe my own application scenarios for products or services that I would gladly recommend -- based upon my own everyday usage experience.

Why More Market Studies and Analysis are Needed

Additional findings from a ForeSee Results market study further emphasize the role of product review websites as an important influence on buyers visiting retail websites.

Compared to other influences, independent product reviews were most likely to affect the likelihood of a purchase, sharing this distinction with another highly influential factor -- personal word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family.

Somewhat contradictory to the GroupM and comScore findings is the reported level of consumer satisfaction of interaction with branded messages and advertising on social networks -- indicating an area ripe for further investigation to better understand the true influence of brand-created messaging on social networks.

The data further illustrates the complexity of the online path to purchase and further justifies the need for marketers to track their individual marketing programs.

Specifically, benchmarking their search marketing and social media efforts, to uncover the channels and resources that are proven to best optimize the customer buying experience -- regardless of the relative visitor traffic to those sites.

Popular posts from this blog

Wireless Solutions Advance Work from Home Trends

Despite a challenging backdrop from the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the negative impact on fifth-generation (5G) wireless supply chains has been minimal compared to the wider mobile smartphone market. This led to 5G mobile devices becoming more diverse, brought to market quickly at a variety of price points, thereby accelerating affordability and adoption. The mobile market is transitioning to 5G and many leading vendors are now exploring the low-priced 5G smartphone segment. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, 681 million 5G handsets will be shipped in 2022. Therefore, the race is on for OEMs to find that all-important level of differentiation in their flagship portfolios to help boost margins and improve market share. 5G Wireless Market Development Vendors continue to drive the adoption of new product designs, screen technology, chipsets, and camera setups -- notably within the flagship smartphone segment. Meanwhile, the leaders seek a

Software-Defined Infrastructure: The Platform of Choice

As more organizations adapt to a hybrid working model for their distributed workforce, enterprise CIOs and CTOs are tasked with delivering new productivity-enabling applications, while also seeking ways to effectively reduce IT cost, complexity, and risk. Traditional IT hardware infrastructure is evolving to more software-based solutions. The worldwide software-defined infrastructure (SDI) combined software market reached $12.17 billion during 2020 -- that's an increase of 5 percent over 2019, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). The market grew faster than other core IT technologies. The three technology pillars within the SDI market are: software-defined compute (53 percent of market value), software-defined storage controller (36 percent), and software-defined networking (11 percent). "Software-defined infrastructure solutions have long been popular for companies looking to eliminate cost, complexity, and risk within their data cente

Digital Identity Verification Market to Reach $16.7B

As more enterprise organizations embrace the ongoing transition to digital business transformation, CIOs and CTOs are adopting new technologies that enable the secure identification of individuals within their key stakeholder communities. A "digital identity" is a unique representation of a person. It enables individuals to prove their physical identity during transactions. Moreover, a digital identity is a set of validated digital attributes and credentials for online interactions -- similar to a person's identity within the physical world. Individuals can use a 'digital ID' to be verified through an authorized digital channel. Usually issued or regulated by a national ID scheme, a digital identity serves to identify a unique person online or offline. Digital Identity Systems Market Development Complementary to more traditional forms of identification, digital identity verification systems can enhance the authenticity, security, confidentiality, and efficiency of