Ipsos Survey: 8 out of 10 Americans Influenced by Online Reviews when Making Purchases
We at Enform know that if there’s one thing the Internet has done for consumers, it has made information about products and services more accessible to the average consumer. But more importantly, the type of information consumers turn to online no longer revolves around ads and promotional materials, replaced instead by reviews.
Study Sheds Light on Consumer Landscape
In fact, a study conducted by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX) shows that 78 percent of online Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 agree to being influenced by online reviews when deciding whether to buy a product or service or not.
The survey results, released in December 2012, show that a third of respondents very much agree with the suggestion of online reviews influencing their purchases decisions. Moreover, Americans are 13 percent more likely to agree that online product and services reviews affect their purchase decisions compared to the 69 percent global average.
Influence Levels Vary between Education Levels and Household Incomes
Perhaps of more interest are how online reviews seem to be more influential to wealthier Americans than they are to lower-income individuals. Respondents from high-income households are 23 percent more likely (81 percent) to agree that online reviews influence their purchase decisions, compared to individuals from low-income households, who only somewhat agreed that they buy a product based on reviews (66 percent).
Likewise, influence also varied between individuals with different educational attainments. Respondents with a high educational background were more 11 percent more likely to rely on online reviews than online users with low educational levels (difference of 83 percent against 75 percent).
Asians vs. Europeans
The Ipsos study also touches on the viewpoints of consumers from 24 countries around the world. The survey shows that Asian countries are the most likely to listen to online reviews, with Turkey (Eurasia), South Korea, India, Indonesia and China making up the top countries most likely to be influenced.
On the other end of the spectrum are countries with people most likely to ignore online reviews. These countries consist of European nations, which include France, Belgium, Sweden and Germany.
Quite frankly, the Ipsos survey results come as no surprise to us here at Enform. Word of mouth advertising has always been the strongest form of marketing, and we see online reviews as the digital grapevine.