Product reviews are a major influence on consumers when making their purchases, as 68% of women rely most on product reviews when making a shopping decision. When they search for product reviews online, women most often use their mobile phones, 59%, followed by computers, 33%, and then tablets, 8%.
According to a recent survey of 11,255 women across the U.S., and across generations X, Y, and Z, by product discovery and reviews platform Influenster, more than half of women need to see a minimum of 50 reviews on a product review page before trusting the page to be reliable. And 72% of those women also trust a product page based on the total number of reviews on the page, and 44% of women spend at least 20 minutes researching a product before making a purchase.
Why are women reading product reviews? Seventy-seven percent are looking to potentially buy a product, 60% to compare the product to a competitor, 57% want to discover a new product, and 45% just want to be in the know.
Where the product review comes from is also of great importance. Retailer websites topped the list as the No. 1 place to search for reviews for generations X and Y, 82% for Generation X and 81% for Generation Y. Social media sites came in first place for reviews for Generation Z at 78%.
"There are shifting differences with regards to how each generation of women consumes reviews," Elizabeth Scherle, co-founder and president of Influenster, told FierceRetail. "While Gens X and Y rely primarily on traditional product reviews to make shopping decisions, Gen Z relies primarily on product reviews generated via social media to inform their purchase decisions. Marketers have to navigate the shift in consumer expectations and align with each generation’s value system to build genuine connections."
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But not all reviews are created equal. The quality of the review matters to 67% of those surveyed. Next on the list of importance is star rating, 57%, and then relevancy of the review to the specific consumer, 47%.
Negative reviews are important, as 78% of women report having written a negative review before and 54% believe it's important for a brand to respond to these negative reviews. When looking for communication, women prefer email, 69%. Other preferred methods of communication include website contact page, 56%, and social media, 47%.
Other influencers on shopping decisions include social media, 56%; word of mouth, 55%; ads, 25%; blogs, 21%; magazines, 8%, catalogues, 8%, news websites, 6%; and newspapers, 5%.