Oh, the dreaded negative customer review: shoppers love to read it, and marketers live in fear of it. Marketing teams across the land have been trying to develop strategies for dealing with this new reality. Well, take heart: a recent Forrester Research report called “Myths and Truths About Online Consumer Reviews” offers some good news about the actual impact of negative reviews on customer buying behavior. According to the research, as reported at Internet Retailer:

Consumers consider reviews to be “valuable” when shopping for all kinds of products.
A full 81% of respondents said they do indeed read them.

But here’s where the results get interesting:

  • Only 14% of the survey respondents said they always trust a negative review.
  • Close to 50% of online shoppers said they have purchased a product despite reading a negative review.
  • And 37% said that after reading a negative review, they then turned to “professionally” written reviews.

The lesson for marketers here? While online shoppers will certainly be reading reviews about your products, when it comes down to making a buying decision, they will think for themselves. In other words, a negative review is not a deal-breaker; it’s just a factor in a shopper’s overall consideration of your product.

The decision to buy is personal. While online reviews are a factor in that decision, they won’t necessarily have a stronger impact than your own copy on consumer choice. Keep on writing!

Source: Internet Retailer. Read the full article here.