He said; she said — and consumers want to know. Online reviews and opinions of family and friends are very influential in purchase decisions today, says Mintel in its recent report, “American Lifestyles 2015: The Connected Consumer — Seeking Validation from the Online Collective.”
Consumers have myriad choices and want the best. On- and offline reviews validate their purchase decisions and limit buyers’ remorse.
Opinion seekers tend to have higher household incomes and can consider factors other than the lowest price. Millennials are also a group highly likely to see what people are saying about a product or place.
“Online reviews can be a particularly powerful tool for marketers as reviews have the ability to impact consumers in early stages of the purchase cycle,” Mintel states. “Whereas pricing and distribution can influence decisions at the time of purchase, consumers likely seek out online reviews during the awareness and consideration phases. Bolstering review content can help marketers to ensure their product or service is added to a consumer’s consideration set before they move forward with a purchase.”