Report: The Impact of Reviews On Consumer Purchase Decisions

by Scott Spivack • ,

If you run an online business, you already know how important customer reviews are to your success. Reviews influence your ability to manage your online reputation, attract new customers and provide effective customer service.

But how exactly do reviews factor into a customers’ decision to make a purchase? To take a closer look, we asked shoppers within the Bizrate Insights network how they used reviews when shopping online.

How many reviews are shoppers reading?

If you’re wondering whether potential shoppers read online reviews, the answer is a resounding “yes.” 92% of survey respondents told us that they read at least one review before making a purchase decision.

How many product reviews do you typically read before you make a decision to purchase?

Bizrate Insights 2019 Consumer Shopper Survey: Customer Reviews
 

Generally, shoppers read between one and six reviews before committing to a decision, and more of them will read ten or more reviews before making a purchase decision than read none at all.

Where do shoppers go to read reviews?

You may feature reviews on your website, but unfortunately, website reviews alone won’t be sufficient for most customers. Nearly 70% of our survey takers said they only “somewhat” trusted reviews on a brand’s website.

Do you trust product reviews on retail websites?

Bizrate Insights 2019 Consumer Shopper Survey: Customer Reviews
 

If someone is looking for reviews, they’re going to search for them on more than just your site. Google is the most frequently us channel, with close to 60% of shoppers reporting that they used it to read reviews.

Which of the following websites do you look at regularly for reviews?

Bizrate Insights 2019 Consumer Shopper Survey: Customer Reviews
 

If you’re already using Bizrate Insights to collect customer reviews, you’re in luck. Rich review snippet syndication is part of our standard Online Buyer Survey allowing ratings to show up directly in search results.

Why review quantity matters

If there aren’t enough reviews or star ratings for a particular product, consumers won’t believe the review is trustworthy. Over 25% of survey respondents only trust a product’s rating if it has between 11 and 50 reviews. 21% of shoppers are even more demanding and expect between 51 – 100 reviews.

How many reviews does a product need to have to feel trustworthy?

Bizrate Insights 2019 Consumer Shopper Survey: Customer Reviews
 

While there is no perfect amount of reviews, our research shows that 50 is realistic and will satisfy most potential customers. However, a study of online reviews by Northwestern University found that having just five reviews can increase the chance of conversion by 270%!*

What this means for your business

Reviews are a valuable source of insight into your customers’ expectations and needs. By analyzing your reviews, you can discover what’s most important to your unique customer base and create an optimized shopping experience.

Bizrate Insights can help you analyze your reviews and feedback and identify key data points and insights to make those important customer experience improvements. Want some help analyzing your customer reviews? Contact us today.

*Spiegel Research Center, 2017

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