Online Reviews Second Only to Word of Mouth as Purchase Influencer in US

A broader investigation into how business can exploit online community underlines the importance of online information in driving purchase decisions, but the most influential information is beyond the direct control of companies selling products and services. Courting the small fraction of Internet users who write online reviews and comments is a very important task for many companies, but one they often neglect.

Many companies downplay the importance of online communities because only a few percent of all Internet users contribute to them heavily. What they don’t understand is that most other Internet users read those reviews and rely on them heavily when making purchase decisions. Taking good care of online communities can be a huge money-saver for companies trying to get more marketing impact from limited budgets.

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