Ratings and reviews are the most important touchpoints on the consumer journey – new research
Ratings and reviews are the most important sources of information during the consumer buying process, ahead of other digital and offline touchpoints including search engines, ecommerce platforms and television advertising.
This is a key finding from a new report by Digital Doughnut sister company London Research, Ratings and Reviews in Above the Line Advertising (registration required), published in partnership with reviews platform Trustpilot.
A survey of 2,000 UK consumers found that more than three-quarters of those surveyed (77%) regard customer reviews as ‘very important’ or ‘important’ in the buying process, while 74% attach the same level of importance to consumer ratings (i.e. scores or stars).
In a world of growing scepticism about the veracity of online information, it is no surprise that consumers crave authentic feedback from real customers. Consumers are most likely to regard ratings and reviews as ‘very important’ in the context of buying holidays (43%), followed by financial services products and retail products (both 41%).
The consumer survey also showed a high level of awareness of Trustpilot in the UK market, with more than half of consumers (58%) aware of Trustpilot ratings and reviews. More than three-quarters (76%) of Trustpilot-aware consumers said they agreed that a good Trustpilot score makes them more likely to trust a brand, while 72% said that a good score makes them more likely to buy from a brand.
Brands missing the opportunity to harness ratings and reviews in their offline marketing
The same research shows that many brands are missing an opportunity to harness ratings and reviews in their above-the-line advertising.
A separate London Research survey of more than 300 advertisers within Trustpilot’s database found that only 8% of businesses are harnessing the ratings and reviews platform for their above-the-line (ATL) advertising, compared to 84% who are using Trustpilot on their websites.
ATL advertising refers to more conventional media such as television, radio, print and billboards, as opposed to digital channels such as websites, online display advertising and email which more commonly feature the Trustpilot logo and stars.
The vast majority of advertisers (91%) who are either using or considering the use of Trustpilot in above-the-line advertising activity regard trust-building as a ‘major benefit’, while a further 7% see it as a ‘minor benefit’.
The second most important business benefit cited by advertisers is the creation of a more customer-friendly brand, cited as a major benefit by just under three-quarters (73%) of business respondents.
As well as interviews with brands that are using Trustpilot in their offline marketing, such as Glasses Direct and Lending Stream, the report contains further statistical analysis carried out on the consumer survey data by London Research partner Bottom-Line Analytics.
Download the report to learn more about the importance of ratings and reviews, and the opportunity to harness them in offline marketing.