It’s proven that more or less 90% of customers read online reviews before making the final decision on what product or service to buy. This is directly affecting how customers are making decisions, and so it is essential for traditional retailers to be aware of it, in order to make more strategical decisions.
As you can see in this video, nowadays e-commerce is actually winning the battle against retail, precisely because the last ones still couldn’t find ways to benefit from this new trend.
It does not matter anymore if a product is sold online or offline, online reviews are playing an essential role in this play.
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In this video, I will tell you how big is the impact of online e-commerce on the tradition offline retail market.
When Ebay started its operations… we are talking about 25 years ago, e-commerce was at its very beginning. Big retail chains were laughing at online shops, but then they understood that while it would take them millions to open a new store, it would just take online shops minutes to open up a new server and reach the same amount of new potential clients.
Today we can say that e-commerce not only has become a very important sales channel for almost all industries but also plays a vital role from an education standpoint on the customer perspective.
The most important role in this educational game is played by online product reviews, which are literally everywhere, they are large in number and have a huge impact on sales.
In fact, it’s proven that more or less 90% of customers read online reviews before making the final decision on what product or service to buy.
Online reviews are so important that 84% of customers trust them as much as they trust their friends’ advice! Can you believe it?
The cool thing is that it doesn’t really matter if you buy online or offline, because almost 100% of customers read reviews online even when they end up buying offline!
So let’s try to have a higher view on the power of online over offline: we can say that online holds the richest education material, which is out there in the form of reviews. Reviews drive sales, both online and offline. Reviews are great for social proof when we see that others bought the same product you kind of feel safer, right? Online reviews are also a great source of information to improve products, services, and their communication.
Lastly, but most importantly…reviews are becoming a benchmarking tool for offline shops that want to identify the right products to put on their shelves. On e-commerce, brands can have almost unlimited space to sell their products, but offline the slots that retail offers to manufacturers is limited, and usually very expensive. Retailers don’t want to waste any more physical space trying to sell products that won’t sell fast…and to identify the top performing ones, they use online reviews.
Amazon is opening some offline stores where they would only sell products that online got 4 stars or above. It’s not a secret that Home Depot will remove from the shelves products that don’t get enough online reviews with good star ratings.
So…if you were still wondering how big is the impact of online over offline, now you know that this impact is so massive that traditional retailers will only sell products that perform well in the digital world.