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Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007 at 10:31 am

Study: Customer Reviews Boost Conversion

By Robert Gorell
August 7th, 2007

Reviews boost conversioneMarketer reports on a new study by e-consultancy and Bazaarvoice, suggesting that customer reviews boost conversion, traffic, and average order value in a big way.

Nearly all survey respondents thought ratings and reviews were either extremely helpful or very helpful “as consumers.”

“Tapping into social commerce can be a great way of gaining a competitive advantage, for example through ratings and reviews,” Linus Gregoriadis, E-consultancy’s head of research, said in a statement. “But apart from the early adopters, this is something a large proportion of online retailers are only just starting to think seriously about.”

Mr. Gregoriadis said one-third of online sellers were concerned about negative reviews — a major barrier to adoption of ratings and reviews — “but retailers are finding that they can improve conversion rates, drive sales and increase customer satisfaction even if customers aren’t necessarily singing their praises all the time.”

Of course, some are better at implementing customer reviews than others, but it’s clear that reviews are becoming an expected part of buying online. The Church of the Customer blog calls this trend “a no-brainer” and we couldn’t agree more.

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Comments (8)

  1. [...] 5. Study: Customer reviews boost conversion Boosting your conversion [...]

  2. agreed, but those conversion deltas are nuts. obviously the source of the study (bazaarvoice) makes me question its validity.

  3. Stephanie Miller of Return Path wrote a good post on the Email Experience Council’s blog about how email marketers can capitalize on product reviews:
    http://blog.emailexperience.org/2007/08/email_invites_and_succors_cust.html

    I track the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 of the top online retailers through my blog, RetailEmail.Blogspot (http://retailemail.blogspot.com), and I regularly see them leverage and promote their product reviews in their emails. Backcountry has a cool feature in their monthly newsletter where they plug a customer review of the month. That’s a nice way to promote excellent reviews.

  4. [...] I’ll be speaking on User Reviews in San Jose, this one caught my eye: Study: Customer Reviews Boost Conversion. The evidence is quickly reaching the “overwhelming” point on this topic; if [...]

  5. Passengers Only,

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this for awhile now, so please excuse the delay.

    Keep in mind, these are self-reported increases in conversion — according to what I could find, anyway — and it may be confusing based on the graphics that eMarketer came up with to illustrate it in back and white (er, red) terms. The graphic distorts the findings by displaying them as hard fact. So, in my opinion, this research is correlational and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Furthermore, I think it’s pretty obvious that Bazaarvoice has an agenda here. Of course, that’s not to say they’re wrong; just that they seem to have had a third-party (e-consultancy) attempt to verify what they’ve been hearing from clients.

    Surveys tend to be flawed in this way to begin with — “believe what they do, not what they say” — but I think it’s interesting that so many B2C’s who’ve implemented customer reviews are this adamant about their value. Still, it would be nice to have some hard numbers to hang our collective hats on.

  6. Well, you might be heartened to know that Radio Shack is now providing a way for you to get some cash for those old tech goodies

  7. Great info. Voucher codes also seem to be taking conversion to dizzy heights these day too, if used correctly.

  8. Reviews are great for higher conversion rates and pushing people to upgrade to a premium version if a standard product. i.e the red widget was good, but the red widget mk2 was even better

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