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Study: Online reviews significantly influence purchasing decisions

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Princeton, N.J.—An overwhelming majority of Americans surveyed say online customer evaluations have an influence on their decisions to purchase products or services, according to a new report from Opinion Research Corp.

Opinion Research, a division of database marketing company InfoGroup, found that 84% of 1,009 respondents surveyed by telephone are influenced in their purchases by online feedback and reviews. Only 28% said they themselves had posted a review, signaling that “a very vocal minority may have an oversized influence on buyer behavior,” according to the study.

Fifty percent rely on online reviews in their first stage of the buying cycle.

Opinion Research concluded that companies should take a proactive approach in monitoring and participating in online reviews to help influence customer buying decisions.

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