The Data Digest: Consumer Ratings And Reviews

Earlier this week, I attended a briefing with a vendor around analyzing and structuring consumer ratings and reviews; the vendor aims to give companies more guidance during the product development stage or help them understand where a current product is in its life cycle depending on the number of reviews that product is getting compared with its competitors.

The concept is interesting, but it got me thinking about the process of ratings and reviews a bit more. How many people are actually giving ratings and reviews, who are they, and why are they giving feedback?

Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® global online benchmark surveys in Q2 2012 revealed a wide variation between countries in terms of the share of the online population that actually gives feedback. In metropolitan India and China, about three-quarters of online consumers post ratings/reviews of products or services at least monthly; in Brazil, it’s about a third; while in the US and Europe, it’s less than 20%.

However, far more people rely on ratings and reviews than give them — particularly in the US and Europe. More than 50% of US online consumers check ratings and reviews regularly, for example. And consumer reviews and ratings are the second most trusted source of online shoppers when buying a product, after family and friends.

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The Data Digest: Understanding The Drivers For The Uptake Of Mobile Payments

Mobile payments saw continued innovation and competitive disruption throughout 2012, but consumer adoption lagged behind the industry hype. The Forrester Research Mobile Payments Forecast, 2012 To 2017 (US) shows that US consumers will adopt mobile payments at an accelerating rate over the next five years, reaching $90 billion by the end of 2017. Lower barriers to adoption, increased convenience, and early entrants striving for scale will be important drivers of growth.

Although the mobile wallet marketplace is still in its early stages today, players across the ecosystem are vying for consumer trust. Trust is often based on prior experiences: Forrester’s North American Technographics® Retail Online Benchmark Recontact Survey, Q3 2012 (US) shows that nearly half of current US PayPal users would trust PayPal as their mobile wallet provider. However, for those who don't use PayPal, the most trusted source is a bank or credit card issuer.

The recently published Forrester report “How PayPal Uses Exploratory Research To Drive A Culture Of Customer-Focused Innovation” shows how PayPal conducts exploratory research to understand the tradeoffs and emotions related to consumer payment behaviors to create better products and experiences. The insights gathered from the research helped the product development process.

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