Results from the 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker are out, with the research finding that 80 percent of people will change their minds about making a purchase after reading a negative review online. Last year, that figure was 67 percent.
“Today’s marketers, no matter the product or service, must learn how to sway the conversation by connecting with those who have significant influence over their peers and will champion the brand message, said Cone president Bill Fleishman in a statement.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents also said they could be convinced of a purchase after reading a positive review.
Cone attributes the findings to a few factors including widespread access to the Internet, growing smartphone use, and the increased likelihood that consumers will seek out more information before making a big purchase because of tighter budgets. The Trend Tracker found that customers are 25 percent more likely to do online research before making a big purchase than last year.
The research also found greater trust in blogs (69 percent seek out product or service info from blogs this year versus 61 percent last year), and transportation (such as cars) and appliance purchases (such as computers and refrigerators) are most likely to drive people online.
For its research, Cone’s partner ORC International conducted an online survey of 1,054 adults (505 men and 549 women over the age of 18) between June 27 and 29.