Many people make extensive use of the Internet to research products and services when making purchase decisions. More of us are reading user reviews as part of the process of information search. A survey of online shoppers by Opinion Research Corporation found that 61% of those surveyed seek out customer reviews and other types of feedback posted online when making a buying decision. Certain product categories are of great interest to searchers who want to read what customers have to say about products, namely leisure/travel services (82%) and electronics (80%).
It was not all that long ago that giving customers what they wanted on the Web could be achieved simply by having a web site. Today, a web presence is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for marketing success. Transparency with customers is in; the days of sellers holding more information than buyers has passed. Whether it be creating a user review area on your web site or engaging customers and others using blogs, be open to ways you can have a conversation with those people who are talking (and listening) about your company and products.
Link: eMarketer - "Online Reviews Sway Shoppers"