Even negative online reviews boost sales
Report shows number of reviews has direct correlation with number of sales - regardless of which way they lean
A new report by global e-commerce analytics firm Profitero shows that an increase in reviews, whether positive or negative, has a direct correlation with number of items sold. The report was conducted in partnership with PowerReviews and dunnhumby’s BzzAgent.
“The number of reviews a product has really matters,” explains the report’s author Profitero SVP of strategy & insight Keith Anderson. “The best-selling products in a category – those in the top 10 – each tend to have more reviews than products among the top 100 in the category as a whole - many with double or triple the number of reviews.”
Average number of reviews for best-selling products in the Top 10 and Top 100 of various categories on Amazon UK
When a product goes from having no reviews to at least one review, that product receives an average 108% traffic lift and a 65% increase in conversion rate, according to PowerReviews.
The report highlights a study pointing to a sweet spot for the number of reviews a product should have as being around the 35-50 mark. “We see diminishing returns after generating the initial critical mass of around 50 reviews,” explains Darcy Reifenberger, global product manager at dunnhumby’s BzzAgent. “Once you have 50, it’s better to move support to the next product in the portfolio. The value of reviews also tends to come from not building them in one fell swoop. If brands need to encourage reviews, they should do so on an ongoing basis through ‘refresh’ campaigns using well-managed sampling.”
As well as analysing user reviews, the report looks at the effect of star ratings. Profitero’s research finds that on Amazon UK, the top 100 best-sellers have a star rating between 4.3 and 4.7 on average. This supports observations in the report that shoppers are more likely to purchase a product with an average star rating between 4.2 and 4.5 than one with a perfect 5-star rating. What’s more, four out of five shoppers specifically seek out negative reviews.