The rise of third party reviews in retail

Filipe Pennacchio from GfK discusses the opportunities for retailers to provide shoppers with more information in-store.

“We use other people’s brains to navigate the world” – Mark Earls, writer and marketing communications strategist.

Accessing information from third parties has never been easier. Given that 47% of the global population were connected to the Internet in 2016*, almost half of the global population could potentially share their experiences and opinions on an online platform.

When it comes to shopping, consumer opinions, experiences and reviews are of great (and rising) importance. Here are some facts from GfK FutureBuy Australian 2016 data, underlining the impact of third parties in the buying process:

  • 38% said their social networks have become as important as other information sources, when making the best product choices (up 7% from 2015)
  • 44% agreed that online reviews from shoppers/users were an important factor in making shopping decisions
  • 42% of APAC participants stated that the opinions of family/friends are a very important factor in their shopping decisions (and 49% for 18-34 year olds).

These numbers are higher than the traditional methods stores use:

  • 27% agreed that flyers/store circulars play an important role in a purchase
  • 26% agreed that online advertising influences their purchase decisions.

The rise of third party influencers isn’t limited to online tools – physical word of mouth is by no means dead - however it did benefit significantly from them. Virtual channels such as video platforms, social media, instant messaging platforms, and blogs play a major role in increasing the reach of reviews from both opinion leaders and among peers.


By offering a space where consumers can rate and write feedback – Dan Murphy’s does this well online. But there’s opportunity to do it instore as well, as Best Buy in the USA do using QR codes on their at-shelf tickets. Scan the code and see a review of that product by a customer of that store (refer to attached example).

Or by motivating feedback by offering discounts or free products (refer to attached example).

Or by developing questionnaires to stimulate responses that target topics related to the product/service (refer to attached example).

Or by becoming an opinion leader via writing a blog.

3rd party reviews and word of mouth can be used to increase traffic, penetration and spend via uptrade.

How are you going to leverage this increasing trend? 


Filipe Bakaj Pennacchio is an Account Executive, at GfK Australia. Working at the client services division, focusing on point of sale tracking. Through analytical skills and ongoing involvement with the Australian market, Filipe has been acquiring knowledge on retailers and consumers.


T +61 2 9900 2826

E filipe.pennacchio(at)gfk.com 

For further information on FutureBuy reports, contact Norrelle Goldring: norrelle.goldring(at)gfk.com 

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About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smartdata, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit www.gfk.com 

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