Online Consumer Reviews Significantly Impact Consumer Purchasing Decisions, New Opinion...

Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:30am EDT

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Online Consumer Reviews Significantly Impact Consumer Purchasing Decisions, New Opinion Research Corporation Survey Finds

PRINCETON, N.J.--(Business Wire)--
Consumer reviews play a major role in the decision to purchase
products or services, according to the latest survey from Opinion
Research Corporation, an infoGROUP company (NASDAQ:IUSA). Nearly
two-thirds (61%) of respondents reported consulting online reviews,
blogs and other sources of online customer feedback before purchasing
a new product or service, with search engines being the preferred
method of conducting the research.

   A whopping eighty-three percent of respondents polled indicated
that online product evaluations and reviews had at least some level of
influence on their purchasing decisions. Seventy percent of
respondents said they seek out information online for a particular
brand of goods and services, with travel, recreation and leisure at
the top of list of services most researched. Though the majority of
consumers surveyed said they sought out online reviews, only 32
percent reported posting their own online feedback on product or
service experiences.

   "Businesses today exist in an era in which it's nearly impossible
to escape the likelihood of being evaluated...there's nowhere to
hide," said Linda Shea, SVP and Global Managing Director of Customer
Strategies for Opinion Research Corporation. "Companies must be
extremely mindful of the power of proliferating online forums and
their ability to shape consumer's perceptions about brands. Even a
single negative review, when posted in a very public forum, can have a
significant impact on a prospective buyer's decision to purchase."

   It is also important for providers to understand the role they can
play in controlling how consumers utilize such information, and that
consumer feedback can be harnessed to effectively inform
decision-making processes. Shea points to Dell's innovative online
forum IdeaStorm - in which customers have offered 8,600 suggestions in
a year, voted on them 600,000 times, and left 64,000 comments. The
company has thus far implemented at least a dozen ideas as a result.

   The survey also found that 38% of respondents first consult online
product or service reviews when they began their shopping research and
just over a quarter (27%) consult the internet when they are trying to
decide between two or three products or services. Another 21% are at
the narrowing down stage to confirm that they are buying the right
product or service. "Providers need to insert themselves in those
critical purchase decision-making stages in order to drive preference
and selection for their brands," Ms. Shea said.

   The most researched product and service categories ranked as
follows:

-0-
*T
Travel/Recreation/Leisure                                          82%
Electronic goods                                                   80%
Household products/services                                        66%
Clothing                                                           55%
Automotive                                                         55%
Personal care                                                      40%
Food                                                               24%
*T

   The study surveyed 736 respondents on June 6-9, 2008.

   About Opinion Research Corporation

   Opinion Research Corporation, an infoGROUP company, has offered
innovative solutions to the toughest market research challenges of
clients worldwide since 1938. ORC's Customer Strategies practice helps
clients better understand both their existing and prospective
customers to establish market differentiation and drive business
growth. The firm has been conducting national, speech reaction, state
and flash/overnight polls for CNN since April 2006. To learn more,
visit www.opinionresearch.com.

   About infoGROUP

   infoGROUP (www.infoGROUP.com) (NASDAQ: IUSA), founded in 1972, is
the leading provider of business and consumer databases for sales
leads & mailing lists, database marketing services, data processing
services and sales and marketing solutions. Content is the essential
ingredient in every marketing program, and infoGROUP has the most
comprehensive data in the industry, and is the only company to own 12
proprietary databases under one roof. The infoGROUP database powers
the directory services of the top Internet traffic-generating sites.
Nearly 4 million customers use infoGROUP's products and services to
find new customers, grow their sales, and for other direct marketing,
telemarketing, customer analysis and credit reference purposes.
infoGROUP headquarters are located at 5711 S. 86th Circle, Omaha, NE
68127 and can be contacted at (402) 593-4500. To know more about Sales
Leads, click www.infoGROUP.com. To get a 72-hour free trial and 100
free sales leads, click www.salesgenie.com.

   Statements in this announcement other than historical data and
information constitute forward looking statements that involve risks
and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The
potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to,
recent changes in senior management, the successful integration of
recent and future acquisitions, fluctuations in operating results,
failure to successfully carry out our Internet strategy or to grow our
Internet revenue, effects of leverage, changes in technology and
increased competition. More information about potential factors that
could affect the company's business and financial results is included
in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Opinion Research Corporation
Carolyn Werbler, 609-452-5258
or
CJP Communications
Caroline Harris, 212-279-3115 ext. 222

Copyright Business Wire 2008
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