New research shows Canadians want online product reviews given by real people

Canadian Tire's Tested for Life in Canada delivers real people product reviews Canadians can trust

TORONTO, July 4, 2017 /CNW/ - A recent survey commissioned by Canadian Tire shows that online ratings and reviews influence 80 per cent of Canadians' purchasing decisions, and 80 per cent are looking for truthful product reviews written by real people. When they come from real people, they are perceived to be more truthful; in fact, nearly 70 per cent of respondents feel trust and joy and express confidence and belief in such reviews.

This research supports the significant investment Canadian Tire is making in Tested for Life in Canada. The program offers customers credible ways to find quality products that have been tested and reviewed for the jobs and joys of life in Canada by real Canadians – who know first-hand what it takes to live life in Canada - earning customer trust and confidence.

Today, the company is announcing it will increase the number of products tested by real people through Tested for Life in Canada to 7,000 by the end of 2017.

The survey*, conducted by Innovative Research Group and Heartbeat Analytics in late April, 2017, also shows that Canadians want to trust the product reviews they read online (81 per cent of respondents), and a large majority (78 per cent) wish Canadian retailers would be more proactive in ensuring that product reviews, ratings, and testimonials about their products are authentic and truthful.

"Tested for Life in Canada is our commitment to delivering quality products that empower Canadians to shop with confidence," says Susan O'Brien, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Corporate Affairs for Canadian Tire. "In this age of increasing consumer skepticism and fake news, this program brings authentic product reviews written by real people to help them make their purchase decisions. We value our customers' trust and are working every day to earn it."

Tested for Life in Canada features the country's largest consumer tester group; a panel of 15,000 Canadians coast-to-coast, who test products in real life situations. They evaluate products on criteria like ease-of-use, functionality and durability and assign a star rating out of five. A product is awarded a Tested for Life in Canada badge when it is assigned four stars or above by at least eight testers. Customers can find the badge on products at www.canadiantire.ca as well as in-store. Testers' feedback is also shared with Canadian Tire's product buyers and developers so they can improve or enhance features and offerings.

"We have a rigorous process for vetting our testers to ensure we're selecting the right people who are an appropriate fit for the products they test," adds O'Brien. "While many people want to become testers, only carefully vetted testers are selected."

To date, Canadian Tire testers have tested more than 2,100 products. 1,700 have received badges and there are 590 video testimonials from real Canadians at www.canadiantire.ca.

Other survey findings include:

  • 83 per cent of respondents said they are more likely to trust a retailer if their product reviews were verified to be authentic and truthful and written by real people. This response is highest among 30-34 year olds.
  • 96 per cent of Ontarians indicate online product reviews, ratings and testimonials influence their purchasing decisions – the highest among all provinces.
  • Online product reviews, ratings and testimonials have a higher influence on purchasing decisions for respondents aged 30 to 34 than their older cohorts.
  • Women aged 30 to 34 are most likely to indicate that online product reviews have a lot of influence on their purchasing decisions.
  • Respondents aged 45 to 49 showed the greatest desire for retailers to be more proactive in verifying that product reviews online are accurate and truthful.
  • Nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) of respondents said when they read a product review, rating, or testimonial that they believe to be dishonest or biased, it lowers their trust in the retailer, especially among Atlantic Canadians.

About Canadian Tire Corporation
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, is a family of businesses that includes a retail segment, a financial services division and CT REIT. Our retail business is led by Canadian Tire, which was founded in 1922 and provides Canadians with products for life in Canada across its Living, Playing, Fixing, Automotive and Seasonal categories. PartSource and Gas+ are key parts of the Canadian Tire network. The retail segment also includes Mark's, a leading source for casual and industrial wear, and FGL Sports (Sport Chek, Hockey Experts, Sports Experts, National Sports, Intersport, Pro Hockey Life and Atmosphere), which offers the best active wear brands. The nearly 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division and the tens of thousands of people employed across the Company. 

About the Survey*
Innovative Research Group was commissioned to conduct an online survey of 2,340 Canadians, aged 30-49 years old, to help measure trust in online reviews and their sources from April 24 to April 27, 2017.  The results were weighted to n=2,188 based on age/gender and region. Heartbeat AI conducted text analysis on answers to open-ended questions to assess sentiment.

To view Tested for Life in Canada videos, images and research summary, visit: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AmiE1esTHc9paxv_rcoQCMwZr-o

SOURCE CANADIAN TIRE CORPORATION, LIMITED

For further information: Alycia Walker, Republic, alycia@republicstory.com, O: (416) 537-4444 x. 1008, M: (416) 565-9183

RELATED LINKS
http://www.canadiantire.ca

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