Do user reviews influence your online purchases?

Online shopping sites have thousands of them. Some are sincere, others are designed to facilitate the sale. But it doesn’t matter: Quebecers say they are influenced by comments left online by other Internet users while shopping. Is that you?

Online shopping has grown significantly over the past two years, especially for everyday products. A product category for which you are not necessarily looking for a trusted or well-known brand. When that’s the case, what can you rely on to get an idea of ​​the quality of the product you want to buy, or at the very least, to confirm that the product displayed will indeed be the one delivered to you? you? 🇧🇷

The comments left by other Internet users at the bottom of the page with the details of the coveted product are a source consulted by more and more Internet users, according to Capterra IT consultancy. Earlier this summer, she asked 600 Canadian Internet users, including 146 Quebecers, how customer Internet ratings influence their online purchases. As a result, the popularity of what it calls “customer reviews” jumped 34% in Quebec during the pandemic, between 2020 and 2022.

Internet users in Quebec not only consult reviews more often, but also read them more before buying. Thus, 60% of Quebecers said they read between 2 and 5 reviews, and 27% between 6 and 10 before clicking, or not, on the buy button. On the other hand, 70% of online shoppers say they leave reviews at least occasionally after a purchase.

Beware of fake reviews

Many digital marketing experts are warning consumers about a scourge on Amazon, as well as on Google, YouTube or elsewhere: fake reviews, often purchased by the manufacturer to increase the sale of their products. It’s a serious problem. On websites that promote or sell travel packages, more than a third of reviews from other customers who allegedly bought the package are fake reviews, review site Fakespot revealed to British media in early September.

Probably looking at several separate reviews is a way to minimize the chances of only trusting a fake buyer. It’s not silly… as long as you don’t bet your entire vacation paycheck on it!

Quebec’s Distinction

Quebec Internet users are proportionately more numerous than Canadians to consult written expert opinions, and even more expert opinions published in video form. Capterra, which offers its services and advice to companies, therefore recommends subtitling videos produced in other languages ​​by specialists who have tested their products in French. She also suggests that they take the opportunity to translate the opinions and comments left in another language by their customers on their online sales site.

These translations are usually automated using plugins that use web services like Google Translate to automatically generate a French version of user reviews. Major online video services like YouTube or Vimeo will also automatically produce and translate subtitles.

It’s far from perfect.

It therefore seems more reasonable to trust buyers who have posted an ad in French, something that a large proportion of Capterra survey respondents appear to do.

experts against influencers?

The web agency observes another local peculiarity: more and more Quebecers prefer articles, reviews and comments shared by recognized experts. As, probably, those of Protégez-vous!

Québec consumers are also likely to be more influenced by these assessments in higher spending categories: electronics, travel and hotels, appliances and furniture, software and professional services (plumber, mechanic, etc.). When it comes to restaurants, respondents seem to rely more on their own tastes and those of those close to them.

When it comes to clothing, fashion accessories, and beauty care, not relying too heavily on customer reviews and maintaining critical judgment can be a good thing. Indeed, these are the three categories of products where the dropshipping phenomenon is most used by retailers who are not always reliable.

This phenomenon, called “fast delivery” in French, takes the form of ephemeral brands claiming to sell end-of-cycle products quickly and at very good prices online. What you later receive in the mail is not always of the quality or appearance promised…

Finally, Capterra highlights the emergence of an increasingly widespread phenomenon on social networks: that of paid influencers. Those people trying to amass followers by the thousands on Instagram, TikTok or elsewhere are paid by the companies that sell the products or services they talk about, which can skew their opinion.

Apparently, Quebec consumers are not mistaken, as, according to Capterra, more and more Internet users prefer to consult the opinions of specialists on the products they want before resorting to the comments of other Internet users, after which they will perhaps get information from these influencers.

And you, who do you trust to help you with your online shopping?

>> Also Read: Amazon: How to Recognize Fake Reviews

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