A closer look at online product reviews

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We know by now that social media plays an important role when it comes to discovering, researching and sharing product or company information. According to NMIncite and The Nielsen Company, consumers tend to share their experiences with a brand or product through online media mainly to give recognition and positive feedback (61%), closely followed by the other extreme: to protect other consumers from buying a product with poor quality or bad service (58%). In this case, people try to punish that particular company by sharing bad reviews online (25%), a worst-case scenario for a company. Reviewing a product sometimes comes with a hidden agenda: 41% of the respondents try to receive discounts from their favourite brands.

Not only do consumers share reviews but also look for information about a particular product. The preferred source of doing that is through online consumer ratings and reviews, over 60%. Active social media users look for information online of whom 3 out of 5 create their own reviews. It comes as no surprise that women (81%) are more likely to share their opinion with other people than men (72%).

The core group of social network users (18-34 years old) has a specific online consumer behaviour. Within 12 hours, they expect an answer to their questions or remarks (41%) and they create their own opinions and recommendations on how to improve a brand or product (60%), as well as customize those products (64%).

Buddy Media analysis indicates, the strongest consumer engagement keyword is ‘dollars-off’ (50% above average) in a “Facebook Wall Postâ€-context, as well as “coupon†which receives a 30% above average rating. Words such as “saleâ€, “deal†and “bargain†remain considerably under the average.