New Study Examines the Impact of Online Product Reviews on Female Shoppers

Interactions, a global supplier of retail services and product demonstrations for retailers and brands, has released Retail Perceptions, a survey that reveals insights from consumers on their shopping behaviors as well as their opinions on the latest retail trends. In the first report of 2014, “The Power of Persuasion,” Interactions’ primary research findings reveal the strong influence online product reviews have on women’s shopping behaviors.

According to the results, 91% of women surveyed conduct online research prior to making a purchase, and 92% are willing to pay more for competing products that receive positive online reviews. Interactions also found that 30% of women use a mobile device to conduct research and 37% of mobile users say they conduct research during their shopping trip.

“These numbers speak to the impact that mobile is having on the retail industry. Consumers want information on their terms and their schedules, which means that both retailers and manufacturers need to adapt, if they haven’t already,” says Giovanni DeMeo, vice president of global marketing and analytics for Interactions.

The research also revealed some unexpected findings, company officials say. Only 3% of women who shop online say that social media sites are their preferred source for product reviews, while 60% rely on retailers’ websites when deciding whether or not to purchase a product.  The report also shows that 80% are influenced to purchase a product after viewing positive reviews, and 67% say they are less likely to purchase a product they were considering after viewing negative online reviews.

Retail Perceptions explores shoppers’ insights on the trends affecting retailers and manufacturers today. The report pairs Interactions’ reporting and analytics systems with its insights capabilities in order for retailers and manufacturers to make more informed decisions, officials say. The next report will be issued in April.

The primary research for Retail Perceptions “The Power of Persuasion” was conducted in January 2014 by Interactions with a representative sample of women ages 18-60 across all geographies, income levels and ethnicities within the United States. For more information and to download the full report, visit http://www.interactionsmarketing.com/retailperceptions/.

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