How customer reviews have shaped buying habits over time | Northwestern and National News

Buying habits have changed dramatically over the past decades.

In the 80s and 90s, shopping centers and supermarkets reigned supreme. Outside of catalog and mail order purchase options consumers had no choice but to venture into stores to shop and it was not uncommon for teens, couples and families to spend their weekends browsing the chain stores in the center local commercial. Without competition from online retailers, brick-and-mortar stores were able to easily (and repeatedly) attract the coveted foot traffic they needed to generate profits.

This is hardly the case today. Widespread and affordable access to the Internet has had a huge impact on how and where people shop. Now there are endless shopping options at their fingertips, whether they’re looking for groceries, a new pair of jeans, or the latest in beauty products. With the tap of a smartphone or the click of a keyboard, a purchase is made, no in-person shopping trip required.

The widespread availability of the web hasn’t just impacted the way customers shop. It has also had an impact on what they buy and how they determine which products to buy. Indeed, customer reviews are now readily available to shoppers on a wide range of websites and platforms and have become essential elements for shopping online.

But how, exactly, do these customer reviews impact purchasing decisions and why? Discover, Voice video has compiled a list of eight ways that customer reviews have shaped the way people buy products online and how they help consumers make decisions about what to buy, using data from customer surveys. consumers and e-commerce press releases.