Thumbs up or down, two or five stars - customer ratings in online shops are the most important decision-making criterion when shopping online. More than half (54 percent) of online shoppers say they look at reviews before buying a product online. Women (59 percent) rely even more on the experiences of others than men (50 percent). On the other hand, men (48 percent) are more likely than women (39 percent) to inform themselves on the website of retailers and manufacturers - the average is 44 percent. This is shown by a representative survey commissioned by the digital association Bitkom among more than 1,000 internet users in Germany aged 16 and over. According to the survey, price comparison sites (42 percent) are in third place among the most frequently used sources of information when buying on the web. In fourth place (39 percent) are conversations with friends, family or acquaintances. "When buying online, people rely above all on the experience and opinion of others. Transparent, comprehensible and independent reviews make a significant contribution to trust in online commerce," explains Bitkom CEO Dr. Bernhard Rohleder. "Customers benefit from this, but so do retailers and platforms: Those who receive many good independent reviews make themselves attractive to new groups of buyers and can thus prove the quality of their offers more successfully than through professional advertising."
So-called test aggregators, i.e. online sites that compare the results of different product tests, are also an important decision-making aid: 36 percent use such websites before buying online. Slightly fewer (32 percent) consult test reports in TV, online or print media. Every sixth person (17 percent) uses social networks. Only 11 percent inform themselves in the local shop before buying products online. "The common opinion that the local retailer has the consulting effort and the online shop makes the sales is wrong. Much more often, customers are led from the internet to the shop around the corner than vice versa," Rohleder comments on the survey.
Find out more about the survey here.