Do Online Reviews Really Affect Buyers?

Online Reviews

It is commonly believed that words of mouth have a strong influence on the customers’ purchase decision. Is the scenario same online? Presumably so but then Google always needs proofs that can be collected from surveys and analysis. Let us see what they got from respondents’ answers during surveys.

In 2014, more than 1 trillion search queries were processed by Google search engine alone. With every passing day, the tech giant is making inroads in every aspect of our daily life with a view to understand our needs and scoop out information about anything you can imagine.

A simple example could explain it better how search results on Google are affecting the consumers’ purchase decision. With a view to shed more light on this subject, Goggle formed research study comprising 100 consumers as a part of their Consumer Surveys. The objective of such survey and analysis was to find out the ways of interaction between the consumers and Google as well as other sites on the eve of making their purchase decision.

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Do they limit their search to only 1st page?

When you search for a particular product, hundreds of results come up. Do the visitors have time and patience to check all those? It is hardly possible. During survey, 36% of the participants revealed that they view the first two pages and hardly go beyond those. However, it was clear from the research that less than 2% of visitors take a look at the search results below the top five.

It also makes one thing more evident that there is a remarkable difference between real-life data and self-reported activity in regards to online search.

Are online reviews really impact?

The reviews conducted by Google are included in Google+ Local initiative and displayed atop the search results for businesses. The same also holds true for TripAdvisor and Yelp. These review sites are prevalent in Google search results. It was a priority for Google to understand how these reviews mould consumers’ decision.

The result of surveys revealed that online reviews have heavy impact on 67.7% of the participants’ purchase decision. 54.7% percent of the respondents admitted that they consider online reviews are authentic and have a influence over their decision as to whether to make a purchase of a particular thing or not.

So, negative reviews affect your business.  But how?

Want to know the impact of one single negative article on any businesses? Well, it faces the risk of losing 22% of customers. If the visitors stumble on three negative articles, a particular business can lose 59.2% of customers. The same will see 70% customers falling off if four or more negative articles are published on Google.

Are there some selected websites the buyers visit before shopping?

It is a fact that visitors prefer searching on Google before spending for a particular product or service. However, some of them also search on other popular reviews sites to gather as much information as they can about a product/service/brand. They want to be sure that the products they intend to buy is good and justifies their spending.

The research results expose the fact that most of the people cannot memorize the websites they visited for information prior to purchase. Google+ Local reviews got the maximum attention; at least it seems not to have faded from their extremely volatile memory! Amazon ranks second in terms of influencing customers’ decision and number of visitors it receives. The studies also show that more people have trust on Wikipedia to know about a brand or company than TripAvisor or Yelp.

So, what to conclude from online reviews?

It is clear from the survey reports that online reviews have a significant amount of impact on the consumers. Most of them rely on these reviews to make their purchase decision. However, it is also clear that the tech-savvy consumers will never put their patience through the paces and also don’t have time to scoop out details about any product, service or a brand from more than first two pages. In fact, most of them don’t like moving beyond the 1st page of Google search results.

It can be inferred from the survey reports that Google+ Local is the most visited site for information. If the consumes stumble on negative contents there, they feel disinterested in spending on the product or visiting your businesses.

We may conclude that reviews in Google search results will have a tremendous impact on how much profit one will be able to wrap up from his business. Marketing professionals, surveyors, researchers and business strategists should consider the feedbacks, negative reviews and any damaging response from the consumers as these have a very strong impact on sale of anything as well as branding of the company.