Online Reviews Guide Most Shoppers

The Lempert Report
June 23, 2015

Where's the best place to catch a shoppers attention as they're making purchasing decisions?

A recent report from global market intelligence firm Mintel, states that searching through online reviews has become a growing aspect of purchasing decisions. According to this new data, nearly 70 percent of consumers, and 82 percent of millennials, seek opinions before buying. The survey, which questioned  2,000 U.S. adults, found that fifty-six percent of respondents said online reviews from people they don't know help them decide which products or services to consider, and half said they would pay more for a product with positive online reviews.

And while the modern shopper loves their social media,  according to the report,  personal social media contacts are considered more trustworthy than user review sites but less useful, and social media generally (such as blogs and forums) ranked low in both usefulness and trustworthiness.

The report highlights the fact that online reviews can be a powerful tool for marketers as they strive to get the attention of a consumer in the early stages of the purchase cycle, not to mention younger shoppers who have maybe not yet settled into a routine for their household purchases. 

It's also an important reminder for supermarkets about the power of online tools. With the knowledge that a good number of consumers look to online reviews for guidance, supermarkets should make sure their website has everything a customer is looking for when it comes to forming a purchasing decision. Have reviews of products from fellow shoppers, preferences and tips, as well as coupons and savings. Retailers should make sure their site is a one stop shop for everything.