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If you’re still doubtful of the impact online reviews have on consumer behavior, check out this new study by software company Baynote about how consumers shopped and interacted with online retailers during the 2013 holiday season.

According to the study – entitled “Baynote’s Annual Holiday Survey 2014” – as much as 48 percent of online shoppers were influenced by online reviews and ratings, marking a staggering 45 percent increase over 2012. Meanwhile, 37 percent of in-store shoppers said that their purchase decisions were influenced by reviews. Also: 52 percent of shoppers checked out their phones while they were inside stores in order to look up reviews and ratings of specific products or services.

(Check out: “Report Shows that Consumer Trust in Online Reviews is On the Rise”)

These numbers demonstrate the continued evolution of the shopping experience, now driven more than ever by social media, user-generated content, and mobile technology.

“This year’s holiday survey clearly demonstrates that consumers, driven by millennials, are challenging retailers to deliver an exceptional experience,” said Marti Tedesco, senior director of marketing, Baynote. “For retailers, this means creating a seamless customer experience across all devices that is integrated with in-store shopping activities. Retailers who meet or exceed these consumer demands will flourish while others will fall behind.”

The study, which was based on survey results covering over 1,000 shoppers right after Cyber Monday in early December, also revealed a few other interesting insights:

  • 60 percent of holiday shoppers said that unconditional free shipping is extremely important to them. This is up by 58 percent over 2012.
  • The use of branded apps as a shopping tool were up 48 percent in 2013 over 2012 (Yes, apps are increasingly influential, too; check out this related retail study).
  • 64 percent of shoppers researched products and retailers online before visiting stores.

You can also check out this fancy infographic for more information:

Online Reviews Influenced the Way People Shopped During 2013 Holiday Season

(Infographic: Baynote)

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.