Revealed - Top categories affected by online customer reviews

Data Highlights

  • More than 3 in 5 (68%) shoppers read online reviews before making a consumer technology purchase decision
  • Shoppers also read online reviews before buying durables such as household appliances (55%) and automobiles (52%)

Shoppers looking to purchase electronic devices such as mobile devices, PC/laptops, e-book reader, video game console, and TV among others are most likely to read online reviews. More than 3 in 5 (68%) shoppers read online reviews for consumer electronics before making a purchase decision.

One of the reasons consumer electronics attracts online review readers is because they spend most of their path to purchase across online touch points.

In the first discovery stage, when shoppers are looking at what options are available to them, they prefer starting online because it provides a bigger range of electronic devices compared to physical stores.

In the second influence stage, when shoppers are trying to narrow down their choices online helps them compare two or more products side by side for a better customer experience. As we have seen, consumer reviews play a pivotal role in the influence stage to drive shoppers towards a final purchase decision.

Finally, in the conversion stage, when shoppers make the final purchase, they are more likely to find discounted prices for personal electronics like smartphone, tablets, laptops, and video game consoles online than in physical stores.

The same path to purchase applies for buying household appliances – another category where shoppers are most likely to read reviews (55%). Increasingly shoppers also read reviews before buying a car with more than half (52%) of them turning to online reviews before making a final purchase decision.

Revealed – Top categories affected by online customer reviewsThe top three categories that attract the most review reading shoppers – electronics, household appliances, and cars – are long term durables where consumers approach the shopping process from the point of view that they are investing rather than just buying. As such it is important for them to conduct a thorough research in the discover and influence stages before making a final purchase decision. This is where online reviews can come in handy providing much needed first-hand account of product usage from people who have already bought the product.

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