Demographic Profile of Customers who read Online Reviews to make a purchase decision

Data Highlights

  • More than three quarters (78%) of shoppers read online reviews
  • Affluent households ($80K+) are more likely to read online reviews (89%) than emerging households (<$40K)
  • Households with children under 18 are more likely to read online reviews (81%)
  • Online review readers actively use social media channels like Facebook (81%), Twitter (86%), and Instagram (87%)

Reading reviews to make a purchase decision is now a common ritual among US shoppers highlighting the need for brands to monitor reviews left by their customers. More than three in four (78%) shoppers read online reviews before deciding what they want to buy.

Shoppers across gender and age groups read online reviews. Both men (78%) and women (78%) are equally likely to read online reviews before making a purchase decision. The likelihood of reading online reviews is also comparable among 18 to 34 year old millennials (79%) and 35 to 54 year old boomers (80%). Even among seniors 55 and above, three in four shoppers now read online reviews before making a purchase.

One of the factors that seems to drive online review consumption is household income. Affluent households earning $80k and more are the most likely to read online reviews (89%). In comparison 81% of households earning between $40K and $80K read online reviews. The figure drops to less than three in four (74%) among households that earn less than $40K.

Household structure is another factor that seems to drive online review consumption. Households with children under 18 are more likely to read online reviews (81%) the households who don’t have children (76%).

Brands seeking to influence affluent shoppers and family with children need to invest in tracking online reviews with a view to drive this segment towards the most relevant and useful reviews. One of the ways to do so is to help them discover reviews through social media.

Socila Media Profile of Customers who read Online Reviews to make a purchase decision

Online review readers are already on major social media sites like Facebook (81%), Twitter (86%), Instagram (87%), LinkedIn (89%), and Pinterest (87%).

All five social media platforms allow brands to advertise. Positive online reviews can be used as content for ads on these platforms. Brands can monitor online reviews left by their customers to pick the best content for social media ads.

*for additional details on sources and follow up information see our full report – The State Of Online Reviews Among U.S. Shoppers