It’s no secret that online reviews have become an important factor in making purchasing decisions. While most age groups read online reviews to one extent or another, millennials spend the most time reading reviews.
A recent survey from Brightlocal found that almost half of millennials spend less than 10 minutes reading reviews, but almost 30% of this group spends over an hour on reviews. While a greater percentage of older groups spent less than 10 minutes on reviews (57% of Gen X, 66% of baby boomers), fewer of the older groups spent more than an hour on reviews (2% for Gen X, 1% of boomers).
But consumers aren’t just reading reviews – they are also looking at number of reviews, star ratings and how old the reviews are. Furthermore, they're looking at negative reviews and how the brand responds to them. A study from Trustpilot in July of 2019 looked at factors that increase or decrease trust in a brand. Those findings included:
- Factors that increase brand trust:
- Good online reputation
- Positive customer reviews
- Quick customer service
- Highest quality products/services
- Transparency around product sourcing
- Factors that decrease brand trust:
- Negative comments/reviews are deleted
- Negative customer reviews
- Unsecured website URL
- No customer reviews
- Outdated website
Good reviews can motivate shoppers to spend more than they had planned, but bad reviews can steer shoppers away completely.