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The effect of online reviews on consumer behavior

Nataly Backry

30 August, 2022

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The effect of online reviews on consumer behavior.

online reviews

If you want to buy some products online, what can you do? Do you buy right away, or do you read the reviews first? And ask someone if he/she tried this product or not?

Most of the online buyers see the comments first, because they are influenced by the opinions of people who have tried this product.

This is what appeared in one of the studies that showed the effect of reviews on buyers.

E-commerce and online purchasing have grown significantly over the past years and have become increasingly important in our daily lives especially with the problem of corona or covid 19.

When the consumers shop online, they increasingly tend to get product information from reviews as well as official product information provided by the seller.

customer reviews

The results showed that consumers' interest in negative comments was much greater than consumers' interest in positive comments.

Research shows that 93% of consumers say that online reviews will influence their shopping choices, indicating that most consumers have the habit of regularly reading customer reviews on social media and relying on feedback in their purchasing decisions. Because in general, the consumer sees the experiences of other consumers who have previously purchased the product.

Why is the consumer affected by reviews to this extent?


The reviews affected the customer's decision because it is written in an informal way and shows the personal opinion of the buyer. And the consumer expresses his opinion in a simple, spontaneous and frank way, so it has a greater impact.

It was also found that consumer interest and behavior on online purchase sites differs according to the content, function and objective of the page. The probability of buying after positive evaluations is much higher than negative.

Therefore, If the opinions of customers or consumers match with the seller's description of the product, it gives credibility to the brand .

There are two types of consumers

  • Flexible consumer: He does not care if there is a big difference between customer reviews and the seller's description.
  • The careful consumer: It is preferable to buy products that the opinion of previous customers or buyers agree with with the seller's description.

 consumer behavior

It was also found that the consumer's background was related to the extent to which he was affected by the ratings.

  • For example, if the customer is of the middle class, he is greatly influenced by customer opinions and ratings.
  • But if he is from the category that buys international brands and brands, the target is not affected much by the evaluations because he trusts the name of the brand and that it is a global brand.

You can find a lot of online shopping sites care for reviews like : 

  • Amazon
  • Ebay
  • Aliexpress
  • Best buy
  • Walmart

The visual effects have a big factor on consumer opinion, and one of the sites featured is Shein. We often find pictures of products and clothes from customers after purchasing them, and they explain their opinion of the product, talking about the quality of the product sizes whether they are correct or not.

You can see the opinion of  Edward Malthouse:

Research Director Spiegel Digital & Database Research Center .

We've studied both how writing negative comments on a website as well as viewing negative comments on a website impact future behavior might be kind of surprising to find that consumers who write negative comments could actually become better customers  but that's exactly what we found .

In fact consumers who wrote negative comments but then later experienced the core value that the brand provides for them increase their purchases in the future however customers who only read negative comments were really turned off to the brand and their future purchases went down.

So it's important for companies to address the negative comments that are out in social media so that other customers who are reading these negative comments see that the firm is taking those comments seriously.

References :

The Impact of Online Reviews on Consumers’ Purchasing Decisions: Evidence From an Eye-Tracking Study

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