The forthcoming 2010 Social Shopping Study by PowerReviews shows a marked increase in consumer trust in and reliance on online product reviews. However, their trust isn’t blind—online consumers are also becoming more skeptical of those reviews, willing to take them with a grain of salt.
The majority of online consumers use reviews as research, and more people are reading more and more reviews. Reports MediaPost:
Results from the 2010 survey indicate that 57% of shoppers trust customer reviews as a research source along with other corroborating information, but 35% question whether they are biased. Factors that degrade trust in reviews suggest that 50% do not provide enough reviews to make an educated decision, 39% doubt they are written by real customers, and 38% said a lack of negative reviews or limited information. . . .