Sixty-two percent of consumers read product or store reviews online before making purchases, but only seven percent have turned to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to find them, according to survey data from Lightspeed Research.
The market research firm based its findings on a survey of approximately 1,500 consumers in March.
Forty-nine percent of respondents said that within the last six months they have checked the sites of competing retailers, brands and service providers before making purchases, with 49 percent saying they have checked price comparison sites. Nineteen percent said they have read online reviews of bricks-and-mortar stores or online shops.
Less than one-third (27 percent) of respondents said they had not conducted online pre-purchase research, such as comparing price or investigating online reviews before buying a product. The majority (62 percent) read reviews online, half (49 percent) researched competitors and half (49 percent) checked price comparison sites.
Almost three quarters of respondents (73 percent) said they trusted Consumer Reports, followed by the opinions and experiences of other consumers at 62 percent, and recommendations from family, friends and colleagues at 58 percent.
Almost one-quarter (21 percent) of the people surveyed said they change their minds about buying a product or service after reading two bad reviews, and more than one-third (37 percent) said reading three negative reviews would persuade them against buying a particular product or service.