Study finds online reviews a powerful tool
From Travel Mole
So says a recent study that found consumers were willing to pay at least 20% more for services receiving "excellent" or 5-star rating opposed to those receiving "good" or 4-star ratings.
The study is based on a survey of more than 2,000 US Internet users in October of 2007.
Nearly one out of every four Internet users (24%) reported using online reviews prior to paying for a service delivered offline. Of those who consulted an online review, 41% of restaurant reviewers subsequently visited a restaurant, while 40% of hotel reviewers subsequently stayed at a hotel.
More than three-quarters of review users in nearly every category reported that the review had a significant influence on their purchase, with hotels ranking the highest (87%).
Were the reviews accurate? The study found that 97% of those surveyed who said they made a purchase based on an online review said yes.
Review users also noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals.