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Internet Users Rely on Reviews When Deciding Which Products to Purchase

Only 4.7% of respondents said reviews were somewhat or very unimportant

September 12, 2016

Most US internet users rely on reviews when deciding to purchase a product, research revealed. And the largest share—nearly half—are likely to read reviews while on a company’s website, before adding a product to their shopping cart.

Importance of Reviews When Deciding on a Product to Purchase According to US Internet Users, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

In February 2016, Trustpilot, a consumer review website, surveyed 1,132 internet users ages 18 and older. In all, 80.7% said reviews were somewhat or very important to their purchase decisions.

Few internet users surveyed said that reviews did not influence their decisions when deciding on a product to purchase. Just 4.7% said reviews were somewhat or very unimportant. Some 7.6% were indifferent to them.

Stage of the Buying Process During Which US Internet Users Are Most Likely to Read Reviews, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)

When it comes to when internet users are most likely to read reviews, roughly half of respondents said it’s while they’re on a ’s site, before adding the item to their cart. Nearly a quarter said they were more likely to read reviews even earlier in the process: while on a company’s website, but prior to actively shopping. Another 18.5% read reviews primarily before visiting a company’s website at all.

Separate data from AYTM Market Research also found that consumers like reading reviews. However, they don’t necessarily like writing them. The July 2016 survey indicated that nearly half of internet users said they always, or at least most of the time, check online reviews before making a purchase. But, when it comes to leaving a review for others to rely on, they rarely do so.


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