Most Millennials look at product reviews online before making significant purchase decisions – and usually before setting foot in a store. Amazon is popular for product reviews due to the sheet volume of reviews on an enormous range of products, however, these consumers also often turn to retailer websites to read reviews from other customers. Many Millennials also look to social media for product reviews; 38% read reviews on either Facebook or Instagram (or both).
Millennials who read reviews on retail websites (Amazon and other retailers) are more likely to visit physical stores in order to buy or test products compared to those who seek product reviews via social media. Including robust product review functionality on their website, and encouraging or incentivizing customers to leave reviews for purchased products, can help retailers drive in-store foot traffic; Millennials who visit the retailer website to read product reviews will be inclined to visit the same store if looking to try or view products in person before finalizing their decision.
Retailers need to have in-store staff that is part of the online dialogue, actively listening to these questions, respond to queries, and directly interact with and influence consumers in the research phase of the decision making process who are yet to visit a store.