Online Consumer Reviews Drive Offline Sales

    November 30, 2007

Internet users who read online reviews are willing to spend around 20 percent more for services receiving an "Excellent," or 5-star, rating than for the same service receiving a "Good," or 4-star, rating, according to a new study from comScore.

Online Consumer Reviews Drive Offline SalesThe study focused on the offline sales impact of online reviews for restaurants, hotels, travel, legal, medical, automotive and home services. About one out of every four Internet users (24 percent) said they used online reviews before paying for a service delivered offline. Out of those that referenced an online review, 41 percent of restaurant reviewers went on to visit a restaurant, while 40 percent of hotel reviewers stayed at a hotel.

Over three-quarters of review users in almost every category reported that the review had a major impact on their purchase with hotels ranking highest (87 percent). Ninety-seven percent of those who said they made a purchase based on an online review said the review was accurate. Review users reported that reviews written by other consumers had more of an influence than those written by professionals.

"This study underscores the importance of providing not just good, but excellent, service if a business hopes to generate positive consumer reviews which will result in greater sales," said Brian Jurutka, senior director, comScore Marketing Solutions.