Online reviews have changed the traditional purchasing behavior of consumers. Nowadays, before we decide to buy anything, we can read what other people are saying about the website, product or service you’re after, and verify our decision before we spend our well-earned money.

It’s a matter of a simple click, and there they are – comparisons, insights, and recommendations offered for free.

But how can online reviews impact our buying habits?

To get a better understanding, here are five ways reviews can improve the way we shop.

Determine where to buy

Recommendations help us decide where to buy. Should I buy this product online or from the brick-and-mortar store? Which vendor offers the best price? Is this store reliable?

More than 87% of consumers say they check reviews before buying from either eCommerce or brick-and-mortar stores. Once they read reviews, they decide if and where to purchase.
Moreover, two stores selling similar products and have the same ratings will be ultimately compared to the number of reviews they each get. The store with more reviews will better succeed regarding visitors and sales because a larger number of reviews influences consumers.

Read reviews while shopping

With almost every household having access to a computer or a mobile phone, checking reviews while in-store is accessible than ever.
Consumers are typically reading reviews in the initial stage of their research, as a part of their research. However, more than 61% of consumers are checking reviews on their mobile internet browsers, while shopping in retail stores.

It’s never too late to explore a little further before you’re checking out.

Get all the information you need

Word of mouth became a force of nature. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

In the older days, consumers needed their questions answered would turn to salespeople and company representatives for information and suggestions. The rising power of online reviews has led to a major change-up in how consumers get information and nowadays, it’s consumer opinions we turn to for getting unbiased, advocacy-free information.

Is this product durable? How’s the material quality? What does the warranty cover?

Check reviews before/during shopping seasons

There are roughly six annual shopping seasons consumers can take advantage of. Reviews take up a key role for consumers during a shopping rush to:
• Ensure quality
• Gather insights and compare products, websites, and services
• Land the best deal
• Consumers invest more time in writing reviews as well as reading, increasing the amount of information online.

Reviews make it easier to close a deal

81% of consumers conduct online research before they make a purchase when on average, a consumer will visit three stores before making a purchase.
Consumer reviews influence other consumers to close a deal. It is mostly reflected in specific categories, such as electronics, appliances, travel, insurance, home décor, tech gadgets, apparel and more.

Naturally, if many reviewers vouch for business, our confidence in buying from it increases.

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Reviews help determine whether a website, product or service is worth your time, money and effort. Even if a consumer is usually not one to read reviews before buying, there’s no harm in doing a final check-up before checking out.