What Actually Matters For Online Customers? [Research]
Jun 20, 2019

What Actually Matters For Online Customers? [Research]

Through my normal perusal across the surface of the internet I came along another fantastic chart from the people over at Global Web Index. This one looking at what factors actually affect customers purchase decisions when buying products online. In May 2019, Global Web Index surveyed 1,304 people from the UK and 1,144 people from the US all between the ages of 16 and 64. They asked these people what was the primary source that they used before making a purchase decision?

The results were seemingly pretty clear cut. The source with the highest percentage of use was “reading customer reviews on the seller’s site” coming in at 42%. This was easily the most used source as the rest of the other sources came in at 28%, 26%, 25%, and 24% use. They were “reading reviews on dedicated review sites”, “browsing physical store on window shopping”, “asking friends/family”, and “suggested products in the website or ecommerce site.”

Source: Global Web Index

Really what these numbers show is the importance of review management for businesses! We’ve written about the impact of reviews before and in this particular collection of data it is clear that they are the biggest driving force for online sales. This makes it super important to stay on top of your review management! Don’t let reviews for your business that reflect on you poorly fall to the wayside and be forgotten about. You may forget about them, but people will still see them all of the time and that has a real effect!

Be proactive about responding to reviews. Admittedly, it can be tough to do this. Sometimes bad reviews are legitimate and sometimes bad reviews are silly and ridiculous. It can get tough to respond to all of them as it takes a mental toll responding to negative feedback over and over again. However it is worth it for your business!

The second part of the data looks at the types of factors before purchase that affect people the most based on what age range they fall in to. For the 16-24 year old age range it is vloggers and YouTube reviews, for 25-34 year olds it is recommendations based on test and quiz results, for 35-44 year olds it is reading “how to choose/compare” tutorials, for 45-54 year olds it is reading customer reviews on the seller’s site, and for 55-64 year olds it is looking at ads or catalogs.

Source: Global Web Index

There are two thoughts that I immediately pull from these numbers. One, you can see the generational gaps and how different people consume content right away through the numbers. 16-24 year olds ranked highest using vloggers and YouTube reviews and 55-64 year olds ranked highest with looking at ads or catalogs.

The second thought I pull from this is just how useful of a data point these numbers are! If you are looking to target a certain age demographic then here is the road map. Depending on who you want to target you know exactly what kind of content needs to be pushed. Obviously you want to have a variety of all different kinds of content but these high scorers are a great place to start.


To wrap it up in a nice bow, the main takeaway from this is to be thoughtful about everything! Be thoughtful about your reviews and pay attention to them! Also be thoughtful about what types of content you’re pushing out there and who consumes it. If those things align with the goals of your business then you’re probably in pretty good shape. If you need guidance or a helping hand in pushing your business to a wider audience give us a call! We’re more than happy to help out small businesses take the next steps in their growth as a business and that is what motivates us!

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