Why People Trust Strangers When Buying Online
Why People Trust Strangers When Buying Online
Posted By
November 12, 2019

How many times have you been stopped in the mall, street, traffic light for a sales pitch? How many of these times you pulled a rabbit-run the other way and avoided becoming a potential customer? Probably every time. Now, how many times have you surfed the online realm on a quest to hunt for a positive review and feedback over a specific product or a service? Probably every time also!

The question remains, why do we entrust strangers’ opinions when buying online?

Let the numbers speak for starters… studies showed that:

  • 86% to 88% of consumers actually do read and trust reviews for local businesses – including 95% of people aged between 18 to 34 years – especially Google rating
  • The average of research on review-sites is 10 online reviews before a consumer feels able to trust
  • 40% of consumers consider 5-star reviews that are only written within the past two weeks, the number goes down to 18% for last year’s 5-star reviews
  • 91% of 18 to 34 year-old consumers trust review sites as much as personal recommendations
  • 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to online reviews. So, it is of key importance to respond to the positive review and the negative reviews.

Since we’ve established the statistical aspect, let’s hammer on the psychological…

Millennials trust people over brands, meaning, they trust what’s authentic and social proof. They will trust online content such as bad reviews, fake reviews and negative reviews. In simple words, if someone likes your restaurant they will say so, if they don’t, they’ll say why. On another note, online word-of-mouth eradicates our need to rely on friends and family for recommendations of where to go and what to buy; their opinion is appreciated yet limited, comparing to the never-ending online vortex of choices, options and the best review sites with their business reviews. Type in a few words on search engines, press enter and see how deep the rabbit hole goes – The Matrix pun intended!

Cutting long story short, we trust online reviews because they are in most cases sincere and genuine to our online presence. They sprout from real customer experience, real people, they are emotional and unbiased. There is an unannounced camaraderie between online reviewers, recommending products to one another, praising services and celebrating successes online. What makes it even more diverse and multi-minded is the fact that these reviewers are from different places, different mindsets, different cultures and different preferences, nevertheless, at the end of the day they all come together under one umbrella, speaking their mind about a brand, product or a service, especially on gyms and restaurants or become excited enough to buy this new phone which they’ve been hesitant about the past couple of months. We also deem other reviewers as peers, so we trust their opinions as if they were our friends or colleagues. This is why it is important to avoid a bad reputation and look for reputation management companies.

Consumers now-a-days realize that it’s all about “customer experience”, therefore; when they experience a brand that values their experiences, they’d like others to experience the experience so they go viral about it – too much experiences, eh? It is all about the online presence! As well you do have to beware of fake reviews. It is a common occurrence you have to watch out for with your online reputation management.

Taking you back to some insightful numbers, here are the purchases that millennials won’t complete without conducting an online-review research and all the due diligence on the best review sites, Google reviews, Google ratings, and others such as Zomato, Trip Advisor, Facebook, and some others:

  • 44% on electronics
  • 40% on gyms, sports, cars
  • 32% to 39% on travel, food & beverage, hotels, leisure & entertainment
  • 29% on credit cards, insurance, banking & financial services

Social media platforms are a breeding ground for online consumers to talk about your business or read about your business. It is important to keep an eye on your social media profiles and social media posts. It is a good way to avoid getting negative content and seeing other forms of a customer review. You want your business to have positive content when having a social media presence and avoid an online bad experience. After all, it is social proof when you use social media marketing from your social media accounts! Content creation can be a challenge too, use your online content aka your five-star reviews to create a positive reputation on your social channels.

Google My Business is an excellent way to keep track of your online reviews and a good review monitoring site. Check out their website to learn more about Google My Business.

The take away is, consumers are becoming smarter by the day if not by the hour. The online review trust and camaraderie is forming a league of internet elites that are becoming market moderators and decision-making influencers, when saying elites, we mean customer-experience word rather than brand promise. Online reviews are here to stay and so is your online reputation management, since your customers are reading and believing what they come across about your brand in those reviews, it’s a cardinal factor that you keep a watchful eye over the word-of-mouth about your online presence. Positive reputation is what you are seeking and online reputation management strategy can provide this.

Localyser can help you out with this information. Online reputation management companies such as ourself are a great resource to keep on top of the game. Instead of hiring an online reputation manager to do the job of many, work with us at Localyser, we can be of help with your online reputation management work. Stay at par with competitors, improve your search engine optimization, and understand why people are trusting strangers online when making purchase decisions. We will help your customer experiences online and leave you with a happy customer as opposed to unhappy customers.

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