Keller Fay Group and Bazaarvoice Study Finds Altruism Drives Online Reviewers
Survey of over 1,300 reviewers shows strong majority are motivated by a desire to give back to brand and community
Austin, TX, November 26, 2007 – Bazaarvoice, the market and technology leader in hosted social commerce applications that drive sales, today released the findings of a new survey conducted by the Keller Fay Group, a market research company focused exclusively on word of mouth marketing. The joint study surveyed over 1,300 online reviewers to discover what moved them to share their opinions. Overwhelmingly, the survey found, reviewers are motivated by goodwill and positive sentiment. Fully 90% write reviews in order to help others make better buying decisions and more than 70% want to help companies improve the products they build and carry. The study also found that 79% write reviews in order to reward a company, and 87% of the reviews are generally positive in tone. The new survey data provides additional insight into previous analysis from Bazaarvoice, which revealed that positive reviews outweighed negative reviews 8 to 1. When charted, review distribution follows a “Ratings J-Curve” across many Bazaarvoice clients in diverse industries. The initial findings on the Ratings J-Curve and follow up analysis are available at the Bazaarvoice blog (http://www.bazaarblog.com). “Bazaarvoice trend analysis has shown that product and service reviews are very positive, with an average ratings of 4.3 out of 5,” said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “This study helps us understand why we see such high levels of positive feedback. The customer’s motivation for posting reviews is primarily that they want to help others make better purchase decisions. These customers provide a vital source of authentic content to help others find the best products for their individual needs.” The new survey also found that reviewers are active online participants who post reviews as a way of giving back to the review community (79%). Reviewers also purchase products online (84%), send more than 10 emails a day (77%), and engage in social networks (25%). Additionally, 20% of reviewers post messages on other people’s blogs or chat rooms. The study also showed that nearly 60% of reviewers have told friends and family about their product experience. “These results indicate that reviewers are motivated to help others and give back to the online community, not to knock down brands,” said Brad Fay, chief operating officer or the Keller Fay Group. “In fact, online reviewers tell us they want to reward brands that perform well. This debunks a major myth about word of mouth and should encourage companies – and CMOs – to be more comfortable with ‘letting go’ and inviting consumers to talk about their experiences.” In addition, the survey provided new insight into the places where consumers post online feedback. While 19% of reviewers post on independent product review sites such as ePinions or CNET, significantly more post directly on a retailer’s own web site. Highlighting the prevalence of multichannel shopping, the survey also found that over 65% of reviewers have returned to the retailer’s site to leave an online review about an offline purchase. Survey data on over 1,300 reviewers who posted one or more reviews to Bazaarvoice client web sites was collected online using the industry leading Inquisite Survey System. The online survey ran from August to October 2007. About the Keller Fay Group The Keller Fay Group is the first full-service market research company focused exclusively on word of mouth (WOM) marketing, using a full suite of best-in-class research techniques. The company measures word of mouth trends and campaign effectiveness; tests concepts, ads and messages to maximize their WOM potential; and offers a complete array of custom research and advisory services related to WOM. Its TalkTrack® service is the first continuous study of consumer word of mouth, both offline and online. About Bazaarvoice Bazaarvoice offers outsourced technology, services, analytics, and expertise to help companies enhance the online shopping experience with social commerce applications that drive sales. Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews™ and Ask & Answer™ deliver immediate success by minimizing implementation risk and maximizing the strategic impact of user-generated review content through complete customization, deep integration, community management, advanced analytics, search engine optimization, and syndication across the Web and to offline channels.
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