Representative Trusted Shops survey shows: Large majority of buyers are guided by online reviews

  • 2 months ago

A representative survey* commissioned by Trusted Shops has shown that for almost 90 percent of all consumers, online ratings and reviews have an influence on their purchase decision. The reason for this seems to be the desire for transparency. This is because more than half of the respondents (53 percent) who use this information rely on online reviews if they have not yet had a personal experience with a product or service. By making use of reviews, almost one in three users (28 percent) hopes to avoid making a bad purchase, especially when it comes to more expensive products.

"The survey shows how important reviews are on the internet and how great their influence on buying behaviour is. According to the survey, the vast majority of buyers are already guided by reviews. Sellers who create the possibility of a transparent review system are making a sustainable investment in the trustworthiness of their company," says David Chau, Executive Director Key Accounts at Trusted Shops.

This point was also confirmed by the survey. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents were more likely to trust a shop if the operator responds to comments. "It is enormously important for retailers to thank people for praise and to respond to criticism. This creates transparency and signals to the customer that their concerns are taken seriously,” continues David Chau.

Not all retailers have a sufficient number of online reviews available

It seems that some retailers still have some catching up to do when it comes to creating transparency about their products and services through customer reviews. Only eight percent of all buyers say they felt there were always enough online reviews available. "Perhaps customers lack a suitable platform – or too few retailers actively request reviews for their products or services. In the worst case, the customer will opt for another provider if there are not enough reviews," says David Chau. After all, only one third of respondents said they could frequently find a sufficient number of online reviews.

The fact that there are not always enough reviews does not seem to be due to the buyers themselves. 80 per cent of all respondents have submitted an online review at some time, and just under 20 per cent responded that they always or at least frequently submit reviews. One in four of those surveyed said they rarely provided a rating, and only 17 percent said they never rate their purchase or service.

Exclusively positive reviews make buyers sceptical

It is certainly possible that a product can impress across the board and receive exclusively positive reviews. Nevertheless, this seems to arouse the suspicion of some buyers. Only about one in four (24 percent) said they would buy a product with exclusively positive reviews.

More than half (58 per cent) would be more likely to choose a provider that had both positive and negative ratings. But there is one important caveat to this. The retailer must respond constructively to the negative reviews. Apparently, whether the ratings are positive or negative is not the only critical factor. Authenticity is also important. That’s why Trusted Shops attaches a great deal of importance to the authenticity of reviews.

"The results of the survey underline the importance of a rating app like eTrusted. The app offers businesses a clear and easy-to-integrate way to make their authentic reviews visible and manage them in real time. This gives you a simple but powerful tool to promote customer trust in your own products or services," David Chau emphasises.

*The data used is based on an online survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland GmbH, in which 2124 people participated between the 2nd and 4th of March 2021. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population aged 18 and over.