The past two years have transformed our lives, no matter where we are in the world. In the coming years, behavioural psychologists will have a field day, filling academic journals with papers focused on the many and various ways that the Coronavirus has impacted our lives and and altered the way we do things. Already there are strong signals of markedly increased consumers interaction with, and reliance on, online reviews as ecommerce sales have boomed.
In a recently published podcast, “Why business must heed customer reviews”, collaborators discussed and analysed the huge uptake in online reviews due to effect of Covid-19 on online sales. “I think the total number of global reviews something like doubled in the year after COVID-19 started. And so when you think there have been ten years of reviews before that, that’s a lot of reviews in a very short period,” says Dave Fedewa.
“I think that pace may have slowed some, but it hasn’t gone backward. I think everybody’s realised this is an easier, more convenient, and, frankly, more transparent way to shop, and I’m not going back.
“The second really interesting thing, which is frequently overlooked, is how reviews affect offline shopping at a traditional brick and mortar. And I think that has also increased substantially. It’s a little bit harder to measure. But just think about the last few big purchases you made. You started that process online. You may have ended up in a store to finish it, but you started that process online. And probably, if you’re like me, you’ve been in a store and flipping through your phone recently, right?” (Source: “Why business must heed customer reviews”, Feb 22, 2022, www.mckinsey.com).
It is not surprising and rather edifying to see the symbiosis between reviews and purchasing at work and increasing during a substantial behavioural shift established precisely because of Covid-19. When we were moved to shop online, the tools to allow us to do it were there all along (online reviews) and their value has become even more apparent. There is every indication that this will only increase. “And some of our proprietary research has suggested as much – the increases in e-commerce penetration due to COVID-19 are not likely to recede or regress to pre-pandemic levels, which means that particular behaviour has been adopted widely by consumers,” says Chauncey Holder. (Source: “Why business must heed customer reviews”, Feb 22, 2022, www.mckinsey.com).
To put it even more bluntly: “No one’s going to trade a more time-consuming, less transparent, in-store-only experience for a less time-consuming, more transparent, online experience,” says Dave Fedewa. (Source: “Why business must heed customer reviews”, Feb 22, 2022, www.mckinsey.com).