Online opinions make the differenceReading other people’s referrals can be seen as the digital equivalent of testing and trying out products in physical stores. Whether posted in text or score format, online reviews drive purchase decisions, just like any other type of user-generated content. On average, one-third of global consumers regularly use them before purchasing homeware products, while a slightly lower percentage do before buying clothes online.
Why integrate consumers’ opinions into corporate channels instead of leaving them to social networks? Because ratings need to be displayed where transactions are finalized. A global study shows that conversion rates can increase by two-digit percentage points on websites displaying online reviews. This was especially the case for sites of musical instruments, consumer electronics, and gifts and gadgets.
There is no right numberThe number of reviews might vary a lot, even within the same category of merchandise. In 2021, the designer clothing e-commerce matchesfashion.com was the most-reviewed men's clothing website in the United Kingdom, according to a study assessing not just the number of reviews but also their level of positive feedback. The website had probably little popularity among women, for whom isawitfirst.com was the undisputed leader within the fashion website category.
If consumers were asked how many reviews a product should have, their answer would be rather vague. In the United States, 22 percent of survey respondents thought a product should have between 51 and 100 reviews. The second most-preferred range was from 101 to 500 reviews, with 20 percent of the answers.
One fake review is one too manyFraudulent reviews mislead consumers in their purchase choices. According to global research on stars rating removal, almost half of the fake reviews that were deleted had the highest score – five stars – while less than 30 percent included one-star reviews. Fake negative reviews affect online retailers so much that even Amazon took legal action against individuals that were supposedly hired to post negative product reviews on the marketplace.
Massive publishing of order reviews is among the leading fraud challenges U.S. e-merchants reported in 2021 and will need to prevent in the future. To avoid fake negative reviews, retailers need to implement more accurate user identity verification at registration, that is, before the actual purchase.