Our individual networks have exploded, fundamentally changing the way we socialize and communicate. But it's biggest influence -- at least from a business perspective -- has been on how we are making buying decisions.

Picture of the Marketing Impact of Consumer Reviews

Some have said that reviews are the new advertising. Others that, retention is the new acquisition. Great big thoughts but sometimes you need something a little more tangible to convince Finance because, like many marketing revolutions, it's difficult at first for some to grasp the profound impact the growth in rating & reviewing is having on business. Accordingly we amassed a little collection of compelling calculations. Here are 12 stats on the word-of-mouth revolution.

  1. Traffic to the top 10 review sites grew on average 158% last year (Compete.com)
  2. 97% who made a purchase based on an online review found the review to be accurate (Comscore/The Kelsey Group, Oct. 2007)
  3. 92% have more confidence in info found online than they do in anything from a salesclerk or other source (Wall Street Journal, Jan 2009)
  4. 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust unknown users, 27% trust experts, 14% trust advertising, 8% trust celebrities (Econsultancy, July 2009, Erik Qualman, Socialnomics)
  5. 75% of people don't believe that companies tell the truth in advertisements (Yankelovich)
  6. 70% consult reviews or ratings before purchasing (BusinessWeek, Oct. 2008)
  7. 7 in 10 who read reviews share them with friends, family & colleagues thus amplifying their impact (Deloitte & Touche, Sept. 2007)
  8. 51% of consumers use the Internet even before making a purchase in shops (Verdict Research, May 2009)
  9. 45% say they are influenced a fair amount or a great deal by reviews on social sites from people they follow (46% say reviews in newspaper or magazine influence them.) (Harris Poll, April 2010)
  10. 34% have turned to social media to air their feelings about a company. 26% to express dissatisfaction, 23% to share companies or products they like. (Harris Poll, April 2010)
  11. Why do they share? 46% feel they can be brutally honest on the Internet. 38% aim to influence others when they express their preferences online (Harris Poll, April 2010)
  12. Reviews on a site can boost conversion +20% (Bazaarvoice.com/resources/stats 'Conversion Results')

Hope this helps your cause.