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56% of Germans read reviews before buying

More than half of online shoppers in Germany use customer reviews to help them make a buying decision. Young people in particular rely on the experiences that other buyers had with a certain product. Aside from customer reviews, price comparison websites and tips from friends and family are also often used.

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When shopping online, consumers in Germany first look at the reviews of other customers before they make a purchase decision. For 56 percent these reviews are an important decision-making aid when making a purchase.

Women check customer reviews more often than men

Checking customer reviews before buying is something that’s more popular among women than men, as 62 percent of female online shoppers rely on these ratings, while 50 percent of male online shoppers do this. This is shown in a survey from digital association Bitkom, among 1,024 German online buyers.

Especially younger shoppers rely on customer reviews

This study also shows that the opinion of other buyers is particularly important for younger shoppers: 66 percent of respondents aged 16 to 29 years, and 61 percent of 30-49 year olds say they read customer reviews online before buying. Among 50-64 year olds it’s 49 percent who do this and in the age group 65 years and over it’s just 39 percent who read customer reviews.

Other decision-making aids

Aside from customer reviews, online shoppers also rely on price comparison websites. According to the survey, 48 percent of German online shoppers generally use these before they buy something online, while 41 percent rely on tips given by friends or family. And 36 percent use test reports from TV, online or print media. Only 24 percent use the websites of the respective retailers to help them make the right shopping decision.

Which decision-making aids do you generally use before buying products?

56% customer reviews
48% price comparison websites
41% tips from friends or family
36% test reports on tv, online, or print
24% website of retailers
19% online forums or blogs
14% social media

“Independent reviews can be a good decision-making aid before buying online”, says Rebekka Weiß, Head of Trust & Security at Bitkom. “This applies to both services as goods: security and trust are essential for customers of online shops, and these reviews make a significant contribution to one’s trust in online retail.”

She says that dealers also benefit from these customer reviews: “Those who receive a large number of good independent ratings can use it to demonstrate the quality of their goods or services, making them attractive to future customers.”

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