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Nearly 60% of UK internet users ages 18 and older say their fashion purchase decisions—both online and in stores—are influenced by online reviews, according to a July 2016 survey conducted by Populus. That made reviews more influential for such purchases than any other channel mentioned.
TV ads influenced 43% of respondents; the same share cited direct mail from retailers. Magazines were nearly as influential.
All of these channels ranked higher than social media.
There was a difference between the share of men vs. women said online reviews influenced their purchase decisions for apparel, accessories and shoes, but solid majorities of both genders agreed—63% of female internet users and 55% of males.
The reason is simple: Reviews help people decide whether items are worth buying, especially when shoppers can’t see those items in person.
In May 2016, DigitasLBi found that 31% of digital buyers in the UK used consumer review sites to find information on products and services. According to January 2016 research from Conlumino and Webloyalty reviews written by third parties were highly trusted b internet users in Ireland and the UK: They received an average rating of 8.7 on a scale from 1 to 10, ahead of social media, TV ads and print ads. The same survey found that nearly half of internet users decided where to shop at least in part based on third-party reviews.
Earlier research, conducted in October 2015 by Saville Rossiter-Base for the UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom), found that 80% of female internet users in the UK and 75% of their male counterparts read reviews. Writing them was about half as common: 41% of female respondents and 37% of male respondents did so.
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