Study: Negative Reviews Can Have Big Impact

Online reviews has become more popular in the real estate industry, but if you ever have a negative review posted online about you or a home you’re listing, watch out. A new study finds that negative reviews online can greatly influence customers’ behavior and harm businesses.

The survey, conducted by Cone Inc., finds that four out of five customers say they have changed purchase decisions based on negative reviews they’ve found online.

The company also found:

· Nearly 90 percent of consumers consider online channels trustworthy sources for product and service reviews.

· 87 percent of consumers said a favorable review has confirmed their decision to purchase a product.

· 89 percent of consumers say they are likely to research expensive purchases online; nearly 60 percent say they research more online now because of easy access to reviews on mobile phones.

“Today’s consumers want reassurance before loosening their purse strings, and personal recommendations alone are just not enough to guarantee a purchase,” says Mike Hollywood, director of New Media for Cone. “The explosion of online word-of-mouth channels and the adoption of online verification have forever changed the marketing landscape. Targeting the right people is a marketer’s first step toward influencing the conversation.”

Source: “Survey: Negative Online Reviews Change 80 Percent of Shoppers’ Minds,” TechSpot (Aug. 30, 2011)