Just how important is a review for in-store and online buyers?

Since the beginning of time (or at least, the beginning of shopping), people have asked for opinions of other people before buying something. That hasn't changed much in the digital era, except that now it's much easier to find opinions and reviews of products, as there are countless online reviewers.

But just how important that information is to retailers and brands? Bazaarvoice, the network connecting brands and retailers to consumers wanted to find out, and it did.

Not only that, but it also created something it calls the ROBO Multiplier, which helps brands and retailers how online content impacts their in-store revenue.

ROBO is the type of consumer wich Researches Online, Buys Offline. After researching more than 20 of the leading retailers across North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, here's what it knows:

When drilling down to more specific sub-categories, Bazaarvoice found: 39 per cent of those who bought things in-store, read reviews before that, and when it comes to online shoppers, that percentage sits at 54.

The ROBO Multiplier is a patent-pending process which 'quantifies the in-store revenue influenced bz reviews for every dollar that is influenced online'.

“Seeking out the opinions of like-minded consumers has been a central component of an informed purchase journey for decades, but as a percentage of shopping has moved away from the physical store, many brands have focused their efforts on the online researcher,” said David Moon, VP of Strategic Consulting and Global Pre-Sales at Bazaarvoice. “We are bringing additional credence to the notion that online consumer-generated content greatly influences the in-store shopper, and has a significant impact on in-store revenue.”

The study is still ongoing, and the latest data can be found on this link.