Customers Are Swayed More By Customer Reviews About Items, Not Experiences

With the ever growing importance of online reviews like King Kong marketing reviews and the like, it’s not surprising that companies work hard to ensure that they’re always singing praise for their brand. However, not all reviews are made equal, according to a recent report, which says that customers put more trust about material items and products compared to reviews about experiences.

According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, conducted by the University of Toronto, the effective of online reviews when it comes to influencing people about material items is stronger compared to experiential like concerts, events, and trips.

Study Co-Author Cindy Chan, Assistant Professor of Marketing in the U of T Scarborough Department of Management and consumer relationship expert, says that people feel that experiential purchases are important to their self-identity. Past research, she says, shows that when people think of purchases that define their identity, they associate it with their experiences more than material items because it’s closer to their past experiences.

Chan was one of the co-authors of the study, alongside Hengchen Dai and the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management’s Cassie Mogilner Holmes, and they conducted the study by looking at more than 6.5mn Amazon reviews and ran 4 lab studies.

Participants were asked to rate how helpful online reviews, like King Kong marketing reviews, and how good they were at changing people’s mind. The researchers’ data noted how participants were more likely to be swayed by online reviews regarding material purchases rather than experiential ones.

Chan explained that experiential reviews are trusted less due to perceptions about objective quality; people see reviews of material items have more information about objective quality, which people find more helpful and informative. On top of that, past research data shows that people find it easier to compare material purchases.

The research did note one important exception from the data; whenever reviews about experiential purchases explicitly note their objective quality, buyers put more stock on it, comparable to material items.

For marketers looking for ways to make their reviews more persuasive, the researchers suggest putting in some form of objective measurement, like details how they’d rate the quality of a purchase.