Sorry Ebert and Roeper, CNET, Consumer Reports, and Wine Spectator.
Customers trust each other more than they trust you.

Last year Edelman told us that “trust in someone like me” tripled in two years, from 20% to 68%. Jupiter found that 77% of customers seek product reviews. And eMarketer found that 91% seek word of mouth.

Today, MarketingSherpa reports 84% of online customer trust reviews from another customer over a critic. So…I guess Time Magazine got it right. The Person of the Year is “You”.

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Some other interesting findings…

  • 44% of large ecommerce sites use reviews.
  • And 58% of buyers prefer sites with reviews.
  • When asked what sources of information they are “very likely” to consult before making a decision about their entertainment options, 62% named Web sites with user reviews as their top choice, even beating out a knowledgeable friend (59%)
  • MarketingSherpa data confirms that even among older consumers, online reviews are one of the most widely adopted features for online purchasing behavior. While 50% of consumers ages 18-34 said they had posted an online comment or review of a product or company, 45% of consumers ages 35-54 said they had as well, and 34% of consumer over age 55 weighed in with an online opinion.
  • And this paragraph:

One positive review might not carry the same influence as a recommendation from someone a user knows and trusts. However, seeing positive reviews from a range of happy customers changes the equation. Web users tend to study online reviews for someone just like themselves, whose opinion, experience and needs are similar. And even if they don’t find a response from someone who appears to have the same taste and needs, the weight of 10, 20 or 30 positive reviews can give them confidence that a product or service delivers on its promises.

  • But the best part is the summary at the top

If you are thinking about adding user reviews to your Web site, do it now. Otherwise, you’re losing out. We have exclusive new data on just how important it is to include user reviews. They are as persuasive as close friends and way more effective than so-called expert critics.

2 Responses to “84% trust user reviews over a critic (MarketingSherpa)”

  1. Everyone trusts user reviews WAY more than so called experts. People want to hear the bad things as well as the good. I’ve just started a section on my blog where I want to hear users own reviews on levistra – good and bad.

  2. Everyone trusts user reviews WAY more than so called experts. People want to hear the bad things as well as the good. I’ve just started a section on my blog where I want to hear users own reviews on levistra – good and bad.

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