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Long before there were Social Media sites, way back even before there was the internet, consumers have relied on what others say about products and services. Whether it was advice from a neighbor or friend, a recommendation from a co-worker or family member or reading the latest Consumer Reports, people wanted to know about a product/service before committing to a purchase.

The internet, most especially Social Media, has made this much easier. Today, consumers have a vast library of customer reviews and product ratings right at their fingertips.

82% of US adults say they often read online customer reviews prior to making a purchase and 40% say that they always or almost always read reviews and ratings before making a purchasing decision.

Pew Research surveyed US adults and found some interesting information about online reviews and how they are used in purchasing decisions.

  • 67% of weekly online shoppers say they almost always read reviews before buying new items.
  • 54% of monthly online shoppers say they read reviews before making a purchase.

Overall online shoppers are 8 times more likely to check reviews before buying a new item versus those consumers who never shop on line.

Video product reviews are another important component in the decision-making process. 55% of US adults say they have watched an online video review. Though product review videos are more popular to adults under the age of 50, 41% of those over the age of 50 view online product review videos.

While 40% of online American use reviews to make purchasing decisions, only around one in ten Americans always leave a review.

Though 39% of online adults say that they have shared their experiences or feelings about a company on Social Media sites, like Facebook or Twitter. 86% shared a positive experience and 77% say they share reviews on Social Media to communicate a negative experience they had with a brand.

The bottom-line is that your business needs reviews. If you want people to feel confident making a purchase from your company providing first-hand reviews from customers will make those consumers more likely to do business with your company and feel confident in their purchase.