Women trust consumer reviews more than men

Brand Social Web
Consumer reviews

Given we spend so much of our time optimising the customer journey to effectively increase our clients sales, I was very interested to find new research from e-commerce optimisation specialist Postcode Anywhere; that stated women are more likely to respond to consumers’ reviews than men. The findings suggested that women were more inclined to trust other people’s opinion and to engage in online shopping in reaction to positive reviews.

An interesting piece of insight, that could help retailers targeting women to lean more heavily on publicity, user reviews and testimonials.

The study polled 1,000 UK consumers and found that women were 36% more likely to assess reviews as very important in the shopping process, whereas 22% more men than women claimed that reviews were not of any importance for them when deciding whether to buy a product. A more detailed look at the study results revealed that 106 men and 145 women, out of the 1,000 polled, said that online reviews were very important.

The poll backs previous surveys revealing that men prefer to read product descriptions and specifications rather than reviews. In general, men are less interested in the interaction and the overall experience while shopping.

The authors of the research make an analogy between these findings and the real-life situation of getting lost; for example, women would not hesitate to ask for directions, whereas men would prefer to try to find the way on their own, regardless of how long it may take them. It appears that online behaviour is similar to real life, the researchers claim.

This type of research could translate into how we manage the different consumer touch points in the future, on occasions when brands are able to define their target audience by gender. Perhaps a more intuitive and simple journey from advertising media to checkout would appeal to men, but a softer, supportive and referral led journey would benefit women. Perhaps social media activity should be targeted towards women rather than men? It will also be interesting to discover if word of mouth programmes deliver better ROI with women.