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The Big Impact Of Negative Reviews

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Thursday September 1, 2011 )

A recent survey has found 80% percent of consumers will back-flip on a purchase decision based on negative reviews found online.

This is a major jump from the 67 percent of consumers who said the same in 2010, according to the 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker report.

Positive reviews are also becoming increasingly important for high value purchases. The survey found U.S. shoppers are nearly 25 percent more likely to verify recommendations for high-cost purchases than they were in 2010 (89% today vs. 72%).

After getting a recommendation about a product or service, 85% will go online to perform additional research before arriving at a final purchase decision

People are also most likely to search for information online when it is a product or service they’ll own or use for many years or when it is a product or service that is new or has a feature they are unfamiliar with.

The unfortunate thing about negative online reviews is that some of them are made by .. well .. crackpots. But I think most people can overlook the odd negative review or one that is written entirely in uppercase, full of incorrectly spelled words and without any punctuation. The problems occur for online merchants where the numbers of (lucid) negative reviews overwhelm the positive, or where there are relatively few negative reviews, but no positive ones at all.

The 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker report provides a timely reminder that even though most online business owners are flat out attending to day to day tasks, they really need to keep an ear to the ground as to what is being said about them around the web; and where a negative vibe is becoming apparent, take steps to address it – and fast.

The survey was conducted between June 27-29, 2011 among a representative U.S. sample of 1,054 adults made up of 505 men and 549 women 18 years of age and older.

The full 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker survey report can be downloaded here.


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