New research from Cone has shown that 4 out of 5 consumers will change their minds about a purchase based solely on negative information they found online. This just goes to illustrate the power of negative WoM when it comes to purchase-intent.
On the flip side, there’s some good news and that is that 87% of consumers have purchased a product based purely on the power of a favorable online review.
In both negative & positive cases, there has been an increase in relevance when it comes to consumer reviews and purchase intent (in 2010 only 67% retracted purchases based on a negative review and only 77% purchased based on a positive review).
The data suggests that the year on year increase is due to the penetration of the smartphone (59% reported that they are more likely to research recommended products online using applications on their mobile phones) and the pervasiveness of the internet on a global scale as-well as the impact of the global economic situation which has resulted in ‘careful spending’.
What’s interesting about this is that personal recommendations alone are not enough to secure purchases – consumers are now looking for supporting evidence online which is where ‘search’ comes in.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, search is a crucial element of Word of mouth strategy and this is where offline WoM recommendations can be maximised and converted to sales.