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Industry News

Published on September 9th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Online reviews a key element in purchasing decisions

The importance of customer reviews to any online selling operation is highlighted by new research – commissioned by Checkatrade – that shows nearly half of adults (46%) never purchase anything online without checking reviews first, and a massive 90% “admit to relying on reading reviews to help them make a purchasing decision.”

Significantly for independent retailers with an online sales presence, the top element prospective customers look for in reviews is quality of service (54%), followed by reliability (47%) and value for money (46%). Clearly, having satisfied customers post favourable reviews is vital for a successful online sales operation. But the research also indicates that, although 90% of buyers use reviews to help them with decisions, it is not a by any means easy to prompt happy customers to post a review. Around one fifth of online buyers never post reviews, and 22% say they don’t think about the potential impact their review – whether positive or negative – can have on a business. When asked why they haven’t posted a review, 23% claimed lack of motivation, followed by not being a priority (23%) and forgetting (20%). This indicates that a prominent, simple-to-use and motivating review process for customers is a vital part of any online sales operation.

It’s also important that customers understand how to leave a constructive and fair online review.

The research shows that 65% are keen to know how to do this, and Checkatrade has teamed up with UK etiquette expert William Hanson to create ‘Reviews in Review’, a guide to help educate the nation on online review etiquette. Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade, said: ‘’With 90% of people relying on reviews to help them make an informed decision, we hope this guide will arm them with the elements that make up an insightful review so that they continue to share their experiences in a way that is useful to others.”

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