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May 21, 2007

Adding Customer Reviews Increases Conversions -- Dramatically

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Anne Holland, Content Director

Want to know how to make the power of Web 2.0 work for you? Consider adding consumer-generated content to your site. The easiest and most powerful way? Add customer reviews.

Whether they buy online or off, consumers researching shopping decisions online absolutely adore reviews written by their fellow shoppers. Here's a chart of data on it, plus some real-life data from MarketingSherpa Case Studies:

Chart: Consumers Prefer Sites With Customer Reviews

Source: MarketingSherpa and Prospectiv, Online Shopping and Email Relationships, January 2007
Methodology: A survey was fielded to members of the customer panel on Feb. 2 and closed on Feb. 5 after receiving 698 responses.

As you can see from the chart, the majority of consumers we surveyed prefer sites with peer-written product reviews: 58% “strongly” or “somewhat” prefer sites that include reviews, while only 14% don’t trust them.

Many marketers we've interviewed for Case Studies bear out the power of reviews for their conversion rates. Examples:

o After PETCO added reviews online, top-rated products were converting at a 49% higher clip; shoppers using the ratings section of the site for navigation spent 63% more than shoppers using other navigation column hotlinks; and shoppers who read reviews and shopped via ratings navigational hotlinks had an average order size 40% higher than the average shopper.

o The president of told us that adding customer reviews was one of the critical factors that helped his ecommerce sales leap 80% in a single year. (The industry average is 20% growth.)

o, an ecommerce site for women, considers reviews so critical to conversions that they insert fliers into all fulfillment packages offering $25 off their next order for all reviewers (even negative ones) .

My suggestion: you don't need to be an ecommerce marketer to take advantage of the review factor. If you’re selling to consumers offline, use the Web to collect real-life reviews for repurposing offline. If you’re a B-to-B demand generation marketer, consider adding reviews to your white paper and/or webinar offers. The psychology is the same -- fans love to write them and prospects love to read them.

Everyone can steal an idea from’s book -- review away!

Useful links related to this article

Ecommerce Benchmark Guide 2007:

See Also:

Comments about this Article

May 23, 2007 - Alexander S. Prisant of Prism Ltd. says:
We want to draw attention to Anne Holland's last paragraph--the B-to-B relevance of "customer reviews". Anne is right. All most of us want to know about finding a supplier is (A) What's their track record? and (B) whom do we know that know them? When we don't have a personal reference to call on, we tell Prism clients the next best thing is to have a website that provides those kind of references from people, brands or companies to which prospects can relate--just the way consumers can relate on e-commerce sites. Alexander Prisant, COO, Prism Ltd.

Jun 06, 2007 - Tom Mulhall of The Terra Cotta Inn says:
I could not agree with you more about adding customer reviews. Even one better is if you are in the travel industry is to have a link to or yahoo travel as people trust those sites and trust that bad reviews are not deleted like that might be at a hotel site. My wife and I own The Terra Cotta Inn boutique resort in Palm Springs, CA. We are an upscale clothing optional resort, so for us reviews are even more important so that potential guests can see that we are a very nice, relaxing, pampering environment. Our guests just get better suntans. Thanks, Tom

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