Reviews are incredibly impactful when it comes to influencing purchasing decisions. More than 99.9% of consumers say they read reviews when shopping online, and over half (57%) do so when shopping in-store. When a shopper interacts with ratings and reviews on a product page, there’s a 120.3% lift in conversion.

With all the benefits reviews have to offer, savvy brands and retailers rightly prioritize review collection in their marketing efforts. But, sometimes, in the rush to collect more reviews, brands and retailers forget the most visible result of those review collection efforts: the Review Display.

Review collection is a hugely important part of any UGC strategy. However, for those reviews to pay off, it’s important that brands and retailers also consider how they are displaying those reviews to maximum impact. Below, we review ten review display metrics that can provide key insights into your customers’ shopping behavior, and what you can be doing to increase their chances of conversion when they arrive on your product page.

1. Review Snippet Interaction

The review snippet is the star rating and review count displayed at the top of a product page, which customers can click to be taken down to the full Review Display.

There is a 164.3% conversion lift among consumers who click the review snippet, up from a 129.4% lift in 2020. 

Ensure that your review snippet is located above the fold, at the top of the product page. This prominent positioning ensures that those who want to explore your reviews can do so quickly. Also ensure your review snippet stands out, with brightly colored stars and a clear star rating.

2. Review Interactor Conversion Rate

Review interactors are the people who interact with your Review Display, such as by clicking to read a review, sorting the reviews, or taking some other action.

People who interact with reviews convert at a rate 128% higher than those who don’t — in other words, simply interacting with reviews can boost conversion, regardless of the content. However, watching your review interactor conversion rate can also help you spot key trends. For example, if your review interactor conversion rate starts trending downwards, that may signal an opportunity to improve a product description, implement new product features, or otherwise take action to ensure your products are meeting customer expectations.

Design your Review Display so that it invites interaction. Encourage customers to vote whether a review is helpful or not. Add clickable filters for common tags (such as pros, cons, or best use case). Include a search bar so they can search for specific keywords.

3. Average Star Rating

This is the average rating for a product, based on all the reviews it has received.

Products with ratings between 4.75 and 4.99 stars tend to have the highest conversion rates. Consumers are suspicious of products with perfect 5-star ratings, which convert at about the same rate as products with 3.0 – 3.49 stars.

Regularly requesting ratings and reviews via post-purchase emails is the best way to maintain a positive rating. To improve a low star rating, listen to the feedback your customers provide in their reviews. Once you’ve made improvements, generate new positive reviews quickly through a sweepstakes or sampling campaign.

4. Reviews per Product

This describes the average number of reviews you have per product.

Review volume is important to consumers, with 79% of consumers “always” or “regularly” considering it when reading reviews. And, the more reviews a product has, the higher the conversion lift it experiences. In an ideal world, 65% of consumers would like a product to have more than 50 reviews, including 43% who think it should have over 100. 

Conversion Lift Relative to Number of Reviews Displayed
0 Reviews Displayed
0%
1-10 Reviews Displayed
52.2%
11-30 Reviews Displayed
102.9%
31-50 Reviews Displayed
133.5%
51-100 Reviews Displayed
148.7%
101+ Reviews Displayed
251.2%

When shoppers visit your website, you want them to encounter a review count that makes them feel confident buying your product. Put review collection on auto-pilot with a post-purchase email campaign. Optimize your emails by allowing customers to review multiple products at once, from the body of the email, and always send at least two review requests.

5. Helpful Votes

Helpful voting allows a shopper to mark a review as helpful or not, usually with a thumbs up or down sign.

Our research shows that helpful voting is the type of review interaction that has the largest impact on conversion. There’s a 414.3% lift in conversion among visitors who click the thumbs up icon. By monitoring which reviews your shopper finds more or less helpful, you can discover new opportunities to improve your product page. Shoppers may respond positively to product photos from real customers, inspiring you to add a UGC image gallery on your product page. Or, you may find that the most helpful review answers a common question you failed to address in your product description.

If you don’t already have helpful voting enabled on your product reviews, start by enabling it. Then, check in on the most and least helpful reviews. What are your customers reacting to?

6. Top Search Terms

Many brands and retailers offer a review search function on their Review Display, so customers can hone in on exactly the reviews they’re interested in. Your top search terms include the most common keywords your customers look up when searching through your reviews.

There is a 260.7% lift in conversion among visitors who interact with the review search feature.

Regularly reviewing your top search terms helps you stay in touch with your customers’ top pain points, which you can use to improve your product marketing. For example, you may find that customers are looking for a specific use case related to a product, such as whether a backpack can fit a “macbook” or “laptop,” that you haven’t addressed in the rest of the product page. 

PowerReviews UGC Analytics reports show what your customers are searching for in your content

7. Review Filter Interaction

Star filters describe how many people click to filter your reviews by a specific rating, such as 5 stars, while filter tags describe how many people click on specific filters you’ve set for a product, such as “feels true to size.”

Clicking on either of these filters increases the conversion lift of shoppers — by 89.3% in the case of filter stars and 78.6% in the case of filter tags — making them essential elements to include in your Review Display.

Keep an eye on which filters are clicked most often. Be open to experimenting with new filters to ensure you are making your Review Display as helpful as possible. For example, you may want to update some of your pros, cons, or best use cases with some of the top search terms you find in your review reporting.

8. Most Liked Reviews

Some brands and retailers display a product’s most liked positive review alongside its most liked negative review one, in what we call a review face-off. 

Displaying your most liked positive and negative reviews at the top of your Review Display helps shoppers quickly determine the best case and worst case scenarios of a given product. When shoppers click to read the entirety of either of these reviews — positive or negative — the product experiences a conversion lift between 114.3% to 128.6%.

Because these two reviews enjoy such a prominent position on your product page, it’s a good idea to be aware of their content. Plus, both offer insights into the kind of information your shoppers find to be most relevant when making a purchase decision, which may inspire other areas of your product marketing. 

9. Review Sort Interaction

This describes how often people click on your review dropdown menu to sort your reviews by sorting options you select, such as Most Recent, Most Helpful, or Top Rated.

There is a 114.3% lift in conversion among shoppers who click to sort reviews, so it’s worthwhile to have this feature enabled. Our research shows that the three types of review sorting behavior that have the highest impact on conversion are Most Recent, Highest Rated, and Most Helpful.

Conversion Lift by Type of Review Sorting Behavior
Review Sort Most Recent
196.4%
Review Sort Highest
142.9%
Review Sort Most Helpful
121.4%
Review Sort Oldest
110.7%
Review Sort Lowest
103.6%
Review Sort Images
89.3%

It’s good to keep an eye on your customers’ preferred sorting behavior. Based on what you find, you may change the default sort option to the one they select most often. Alternatively, you may find ways to make those other types of reviews more easily accessible, such as including a filter tag for reviews containing images.

10. Merchant Specific Questions (MSQs)

Merchant Specific Questions, or MSQs, describe the optional questions many brands and retailers add to their review form. These can range from questions about size and fit to demographic information.

Seeing which of these questions are more popular with your customers — and their corresponding star rating — can inform your product marketing efforts.

To make your Review Display more helpful, consider adding filter tags based on the most popular questions. If certain questions correlate with more negative ratings, such as “feels wide,” consider updating your product description.

Start optimizing your Review Display with these tips

How you display and present reviews can have a major impact on conversions. For more tips on optimizing your Review Display, check out our official checklist of best practices.

If you’re a current PowerReviews customer, great news: you can access all of these metrics in your reporting for free. Not yet a PowerReviews customer? Learn how we can help you do more with UGC.

Savannah Claspell

Savannah is an Enterprise Customer Success Manager, passionate about using data and analytics to empower brands to grow their business. When she isn’t helping brands increase and leverage their UGC you can find her deep in a good book, running, or mountainside skiing.

CAUTION
only ecommerce BRANDS COMMITTED TO WINNING should scroll
REASON ONE

“The 5-Star Scaries”

Consumers think 5 star average ratings seem too good to be true.

Impact of Average Rating on On-Page Conversion

REASON TWO

Negative Reviews Exorcise Nightmare Scenarios

Negative reviews have become eerily more important in recent times.

This is because they assure consumers they can live with worst-case scenarios.

How many consumers specifically seek out negative reviews?
0 %
TODAY
0 %
2018
0 %
2014
REASON THREE

Negative Reviews a Superpower for Bigger Spenders

Consumers who spend more online are more likely to seek out one-star reviews.

Consumers who explicitly seek out 1-star reviews when searching review content
Average monthly spend: $0
42%
Average monthly spend: $1-$250
57%
Average monthly spend: $251-$500
65%
Average monthly spend: $501-$1,000
65%
Average monthly spend: $1,000+
71%

How to turn negative reviews into magic dust for your business

Display Them
  • Consumers clearly find negative reviews useful so give them what they want
Respond to Them
  • Show shoppers you care and/or have taken action
Analyze Them
  • Identify and implement improvements to marketing, product and more.
The growing problem of fraudulent and manipulated reviews – and how winning brands can take action to preserve the authentic voice of the consumer, according to a survey of nearly 13,000 US shoppers.

Survey at a Glance:

How Fake Reviews Destroy Consumer Trust is based on the responses of 12,866 consumers in the US who completed a survey during the month of August 2022. Here’s a high level look at the key findings.

Concern about Fake Reviews is Growing
  • When reading product reviews, 81% of US consumers are concerned about fake reviews. 

  • 63% of shoppers say they’re more concerned about fake reviews while shopping online than they were five years ago.

  • Consumers are concerned about fake reviews across all ecommerce sites. However, there’s one site where concern is particularly high: Amazon. 84% of US consumers are concerned about fake reviews on Amazon.
Phony Reviews are Prevalent – and Consumers Know How to Spot Them
  • 90% of consumers in the US believe they’ve read a fake review in the past.

  • Certain factors make consumers suspicious that a review might be fake. Wording, extremity, and a lack of detail top the list of fake review red flags. 
Transparency is Key to Preserving Authenticity
  • Disclosing the source of reviews positively impacts shoppers’ perception of a review.

  • Tags that are particularly impactful include verified buyer (69%), verified reviewer (56%) and review submitted as part of a sampling campaign (43%).
Perfect Ratings Aren’t Ideal – and Often Raise Suspicions
  • 54% of US consumers indicate that if a review is too extreme (either positive or negative), it makes them suspect it may be fake.

  • Just 6% of US shoppers feel that the ideal average star rating for a given product is a perfect five out of five.

  • 44% think the ideal star rating for a product they’re considering is between 4.5 and 4.99; 42% think it’s between 4.0 and 4.49.
Chapter 1

Introduction

There was a time when consumers sought out feedback by asking for recommendations from family and friends. While word of mouth is still regarded as valuable by some, modern consumers more often seek out this type of feedback at scale – by reading reviews. 

The feedback they uncover in those reviews has a large impact on purchase behavior. In fact, research tells us reviews have become the most important factor impacting purchase decisions. 

The value of reviews is rooted in their authenticity. When consumers write reviews, they’re not doing so to sell products. They’re contributing content simply to share their genuine feedback – whether good, bad, or somewhere in between.

Yet, one simply needs to do a Google news search for “fake reviews” to see that the authenticity and trustworthiness of reviews is being called into question. 

Fake reviews have become more common than you may like to think – especially on certain platforms. And some brands have even gone so far as to suppress negative reviews in an effort to improve consumer perception. Just earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) fined clothing retailer Fashion Nova $4.2m for doing just that.

In the short term, suppressing negative reviews and publishing fraudulent ones can be a quick way to improve a brand’s image – and grow sales. But in the end, these practices cause lasting damage. 

Phony reviews mislead customers. This leads to poor purchase decisions – and unhappy customers.

What’s more, when a brand or retailer is found out (notice we said when, not if) for these unsavory practices, it can cause irreparable damage to their reputation. If consumers don’t feel they can trust a company, they’re unlikely to make a purchase. 

Brands and retailers must be focused on preserving the authenticity of reviews. But why is this so important? And what actions can they take to do so?

PowerReviews recently surveyed nearly 13,000 US consumers to understand their growing concern with fake reviews – as well as key actions brands and retailers can take to preserve their authenticity. In this report, we’ll explore the key findings.

Chapter 2

Research Methodology

The report that follows is based on an analysis of 12,866 US consumer responses to a survey from August 2022. Here’s a snapshot of who completed the survey.

Generations

Gen Z
(1997-present)
2%
Millennials
(1981-1996)
52%
Gen X
(1965-1980)
36%
Baby Boomers
(1946-1964)
10%

Household Income

$0-$25,000
10%
$26,000-$50,000
20%
$51,000-$75,000
21%
$76,00-$100,000
18%
$101,000+
25%
Prefer not to say
6%

Average Monthly Spending

Online
$0
1%
$1-$100
24%
$101-$250
30%
$251-$500
26%
$501-$1,000
13%
$1,001- $2,000
4%
$2,001+
2%
In-Store
$0
1%
$1-$100
14%
$101-$250
24%
$251-$500
32%
$501-$1,000
22%
$1,001- $2,000
6%
$2,001+
1%
Chapter 3

Shoppers’ Concern with Fake Reviews

Consumers of all Ages are Concerned with Fake Reviews

When reading product reviews, just over eight in 10 (81%) US consumers are concerned about fake reviews. Concern is fairly steady across all generations.  

Also of note, US consumers are less concerned about fake reviews than those in the UK. Our previous research found that 90% of shoppers in the UK are concerned about fake reviews.

Fake Reviews Concern Nearly All Shoppers
When reading product reviews from customers, are you concerned about fake reviews?
Overall
81%
Gen Z
81%
Millennials
80%
Gen X
83%
Boomers
81%

We asked respondents to rank their concern with fake reviews on a scale of one to five (with one being the least concerned and five being the most concerned). The average response was 3.00, compared to an average ranking of 3.22 for consumers in the UK. 

But make no mistake: fake reviews are a concern for US consumers. After all, 85% rank their level of concern as three or higher. 

How Consumers Rank Their Concern with Fake Reviews
Rank your level of concern about the presence of fake reviews on a scale of 1 to 5?
US
1 (least concerned)
3%
2
12%
3
43%
4
25%
5 (most concerned)
17%
UK
1 (least concerned)
2%
2
9%
3
40%
4
27%
5 (most concerned)
22%

Concern with Fake Reviews is Growing

Fake reviews have always been a concern. But headlines in the past few years have made this fraudulent content top of mind for consumers. The majority (63%) are more concerned about fake reviews when shopping online than they were five years ago. In fact, concern is growing among consumers of all ages. 

Concern with Fake Reviews Has Grown in the Past Five Years
Are you more concerned about fake reviews when shopping online than you were five years ago?
Overall
63%
Gen Z
61%
Millennials
62%
Gen X
64%
Boomers
61%

US Consumers are Particularly Concerned with Fake Reviews on Amazon

There have been plenty of news articles in the recent past about the prevalence of fake reviews on Amazon. So it probably comes as no surprise that Amazon.com tops the list of sites where consumers in the US are concerned about fake reviews. This is also the case for consumers in the UK. 

Where US Consumers are Most Wary of Fake Reviews
On which of the following online shopping websites are you concerned about fake reviews?
Amazon.com
84%
Walmart.com
53%
Target.com
29%
Wayfair.com
26%
Bestbuy.com
18%
Chewy.com
15%
Homedepot.com
14%
Lowes.com
13%
Kroger.com
9%
Chapter 4

The Ubiquity of Fake Reviews – and What Tips Shoppers Off

How common are fake reviews? And what red flags do shoppers look for to determine if a review is phony? 

Nearly all Consumers Have Stumbled Upon a Shady Review

Fake reviews have become all too common. Nine in 10 (90%) US consumers believe they’ve read a fake review in the past. This is slightly higher than in the UK, where 87% of consumers believe they’ve read a fake review.

Most US Consumers Believe They’ve Encountered Fake Reviews
Do you think you've ever read a fake review?
US
90%
UK
87%

Of note, Gen Z and Boomer shoppers are slightly less likely to suspect they’ve encountered fake reviews than Millennials and Gen X.

Prevalence of Fake Reviews by Generation
Do you think you've ever read a fake review?
Gen Z
87%
Millennials
91%
Gen X
91%
Boomers
86%

In addition, the higher the household income of a respondent, the more likely they are to suspect they’ve encountered fake reviews. This is likely because those with higher incomes shop online more – and thus have more opportunities to encounter fake reviews. 

Prevalence of Fake Reviews by Income
Do you think you've ever read a fake review?
$0-$25,000
82%
$26,000-$50,000
88%
$51,000-$75,000
91%
$76,00-$100,000
92%
$101,000+
94%
Prefer not to say
89%

How US Shoppers Pinpoint Fraudulent Reviews

Most shoppers in the US believe they’ve seen fake reviews in the past. But what factors lead them to believe a review isn’t authentic?

The top factor is the wording of the review or how it’s written. This factor also tops the list among UK shoppers. 

Other red flags include poor grammar, extremeness (either too positive or too negative), and a lack of specific detail.

Top Factors That Tip Shoppers Off to a Fake Review
Which of the following features in a review makes you concerned it may be fake?
US
Wording of reviews and/or how it’s written
67%
Poor grammar or doesn’t make sense
59%
Too extreme (whether positive or negative)
54%
Lack of specific detail
52%
The name/profile of the reviewer
27%
UK
Wording of reviews and/or how it’s written
60%
Poor grammar or doesn’t make sense
52%
Too extreme (whether positive or negative)
55%
Lack of specific detail
53%
The name/profile of the reviewer
33%
Chapter 5

How to Preserve Review Authenticity and Shopper Trust

Fake reviews are common – and that’s a big problem. After all, the presence of even a single fake review can tarnish a shopper’s trust – perhaps forever. 

As such, brands and retailers must make it a top priority to preserve the authenticity of reviews.

Transparency About Review Source Boosts Trust

Reviews can come from a variety of different sources. For example, one review might be written by someone who received a free sample – while another was written by someone who purchased the product on their own. 

One important way to preserve the authenticity of reviews is to be transparent about their source. Brands and retailers can do this by adding text or a “tag” to each review – which lets shoppers know the source.  

It probably comes as no surprise that the “verified buyer” tag is the tag that has the largest impact on US consumers’ perception of a review. After all, such a tag is proof positive that the shopper has actually purchased the product in question. 

The Tags that Impact Review Perception Most for US Consumers
Which of the following tags, if any, on review content POSITIVELY impact how you perceive that review content?
Verified Buyer
69%
Verified Reviewer
56%
Review submitted as part of sampling campaign
43%
Review submitted as part of sweepstakes campaign
14%
Staff Reviewer
13%

Shoppers Can See Through Perfect Star Ratings

Negative reviews are never the goal for brands and retailers. But a lack of negative content can raise suspicions among shoppers. As mentioned earlier in this report, if a review is too extreme – whether positive or negative – it raises red flags for over half of shoppers. In addition, a previous survey found that nearly half (46%) of consumers are leery of products with a perfect average star rating of five out of five. 

Our most recent research confirmed that perfect average star ratings are rarely ideal. A mere 6% of shoppers indicate that 5.0 is the ideal average star rating for a product. The largest portion of consumers – 44% – feel that the ideal average star rating falls between 4.5 and 4.99. 42% think the sweet spot sits between 4.0 and 4.49 stars. 

How Frequently In-Store Shoppers Research Products While in a Store
How often do you research a purchase online WHILE shopping in store?
Overall
Under 3.5 stars
1%
3.51-3.99 stars
7%
4.0-4.49 stars
42%
4.5-4.99 stars
44%
5.0 stars
6%
Gen Z
Under 3.5 stars
2%
3.51-3.99 stars
10%
4.0-4.49 stars
44%
4.5-4.99 stars
38%
5.0 stars
6%
Millennials
Under 3.5 stars
1%
3.51-3.99 stars
7%
4.0-4.49 stars
43%
4.5-4.99 stars
43%
5.0 stars
6%
Gen X
Under 3.5 stars
1%
3.51-3.99 stars
7%
4.0-4.49 stars
42%
4.5-4.99 stars
44%
5.0 stars
6%
Boomers
Under 3.5 stars
1%
3.51-3.99 stars
6%
4.0-4.49 stars
36%
4.5-4.99 stars
48%
5.0 stars
9%

Again, negative reviews shouldn’t be the goal. However, there is a positive side to them. For starters, negative reviews are an important tool many shoppers depend on to make the best purchase decisions.

Research tells us that 61% of consumers actively seek out one-star reviews. Doing so helps them determine the worst case scenario – and whether it’s something they can live with.

In addition, displaying negative reviews shows your shoppers you have nothing to hide. That transparency boosts trust – and purchase likelihood.

Chapter 6

5 Key Takeaways for Brands and Retailers

These days, nearly all consumers consult reviews. But fake reviews and manipulated review footprints threaten authenticity – and consumer trust. Brands and retailers must make it a top priority to preserve the authenticity of reviews. 

These are the top five takeaways from our latest survey on review authenticity.

One
Fake Reviews are Top of Mind for Online Shoppers

Reviews have become a key part of the purchase journey. In fact, research found that reviews are the top factor impacting purchase decisions. 

Yet, there’s growing concern about fake reviews. Over eight in 10 (81%) US consumers are concerned with fake reviews. And 63% are more concerned about fake reviews now than they were a mere five years ago. Amazon is the site consumers are most concerned about fake reviews. 

Two
Fake Reviews are All Too Common – and Certain Factors Tip Off Consumers

Nine in ten (90%) of consumers believe they’ve come across a fake review in the past. They identify fake reviews by looking for certain red flags, including wording, extremity, and a lack of specific details. 

Your ratings and reviews platform should have a robust moderation process in place to spot phony reviews so they never see the light of day. Be sure to ask about it.

Three
Transparency About the Source of Reviews Preserves Trust

Consumers value reviews because it’s authentic content provided by others like them – rather than a brand trying to make a sale. One key way to preserve trust is to leverage badges that disclose the source of reviews. 

For example, consider adding a badge indicating when a review was written by a verified buyer – or when a shopper received a free sample or some other incentive. For many shoppers, these badges positively impact their perception of the given review. 

Four
Perfect Reviews Aren’t Ideal

Over half of US consumers (54%) say that if a review is too extreme – whether positive or negative – that makes them think it might be a fake. What’s more, a mere 6% feel that the ideal average star rating for a product is a perfect 5.0.

Consumers know that a single product can’t be all things to all people. So when they see all glowing reviews for a product, it makes them suspicious. Of course, it’s important to have a moderation process in place that flags fraudulent or inappropriate reviews. But such a process shouldn’t suppress reviews simply because they’re negative.

Negative reviews are an important tool consumers use to make informed purchase decisions. Display negative reviews – and add features to your review display that make it easy for shoppers to find them. By doing so, you’re helping your shoppers find the products that best fit their needs – while showing them you have nothing to hide.

Five
A Robust Review Moderation Process is Essential

Sure, there are certain red flags that can help you determine if a given review is fake. But preserving review authenticity at scale can be a challenge – especially considering how prevalent fake reviews have become. 

If review authenticity is a priority (and it should be), turn to the experts. Here at PowerReviews, we have a comprehensive fraud detection process that combines technology and human moderation. With this process, you can keep fraudulent content off your site – and preserve the trust you’ve worked hard to earn. 

The Power of Reviews

Reviews are more valued by consumers than other marketing investments

Most popular shopping considerations for consumers
Ratings and Reviews are second only to price
Price
93%
Ratings & Reviews
68%
Trustworthiness of brand
51%
Familiarity with Products or Brands
43%
Family/Friends Recommendations
37%
Values of the Manufacturing Brand
22%
Search Engine Ranking
15%
Brands/Influencers on Social Media
12%

Reviews pull more shoppers into your funnel...

Impact of Average Star Rating on Page Traffic

…and then convert them at a higher rate when they get there.

0 %
Conversion Lift for Product Pages with 1+ Reviews
0 %
Conversion Lift for Shoppers who Interact with Reviews

It’s not even just digital shopping journeys where reviews have impact

Factors Consumers Consider When Researching In-Store Purchases Online
Price
90%
Ratings and reviews
84%
Product information (dimensions/sizing, material, etc)
61%
In-store availability
60%
Pictures and videos from previous purchasers
43%
Professional pictures and videos from the brand
28%

But… not just any review program will do.

The Importance of Recency & Volume

Consumers want quality review content, delivered frequently and in high volumes.

More reviews = more web traffic

More reviews = more conversions

Conversion Lift Relative to Number of Reviews Displayed
0 Reviews Displayed
0%
1-100 Reviews Displayed
76.7%
101-250 Reviews Displayed
143.2%
251-500 Reviews Displayed
166.4%
501-1000 Reviews Displayed
172.1%
1001-5000 Reviews Displayed
224.7%
5000+ Reviews Displayed
292.6%

Stale reviews are a big shopper turn off

How important is the recency with which reviews are written to you when considering buying a product?

Customers want reviews with detail

The Vast Majority of Consumers Go Beyond the Basics and Read the Actual Review Content

Reviews have become the single most important factor influencing purchase decisions, even above price. A vast majority (86%) of shoppers say they simply won’t buy products without reading reviews first.

By now, most brands understand the power of reviews. Getting and displaying reviews is table stakes. The real differentiator is knowing how to get more from your reviews. 

  • Have you collected enough reviews for all of your products?
  • Are those reviews recent enough to be relevant?
  • Do your reviews contain the content your customers want to see?

To answer questions like these, you need review analytics. Read on as we share ten review collection metrics you should be watching, why they matter, and how to improve yours.

1. Overall Review Coverage

Review coverage describes how many of your products have at least one review.

Simply interacting with ratings and reviews lifts conversion by 120.3%, so you want to have reviews for all of your products. Plus, 80% of consumers say they’re less likely to buy a given product if it has no reviews, including 44% who say they simply will not buy a product without reviews.

Impact of No Reviews on Purchase Likelihood
If there are no ratings and reviews for a product, would you be less likely to buy it?
Overall
80%
Boomers
70%
Gen X
78%
Millennials
86%
Gen Z
90%

Email is one of the most effective ways to consistently generate new reviews, so implement a post-purchase email campaign to follow up with customers after every purchase. To ensure new products launch with reviews, run a sampling campaign.

2. Review Coverage by Product

Review coverage by product describes the average number of reviews you have per product.

Review volume is important to consumers, with 79% of consumers “always” or “regularly” considering it when reading reviews. There is a direct, linear relationship between the number of reviews a product has, and the conversion lift it experiences. Over half (55%) of consumers say a product must have at least 25 reviews for them to feel comfortable making a purchase. 

Conversion Lift Relative to Number of Reviews Displayed
0 Reviews Displayed
0%
1-100 Reviews Displayed
76.7%
101-250 Reviews Displayed
143.2%
251-500 Reviews Displayed
166.4%
501-1000 Reviews Displayed
172.1%
1001-5000 Reviews Displayed
224.7%
5000+ Reviews Displayed
292.6%

Review your analytics to see which products fall below your average review coverage. Then spin up dedicated campaigns to boost review numbers for those products.

3. Review Recency

Review recency refers to how old your most recent product reviews are.

Review recency may be even more important than review volume, especially when purchasing a new product or brand. 64% of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product with fewer, more recent reviews than one with a large volume of reviews older than 3 months. How recent is recent enough? Roughly half of consumers prefer to see reviews written within the last month.

Consumers Value Review Recency for a Number of Reasons
Which of the following reasons explain why when a review was written is important?
More accurate indicator of quality of the product
70%
Makes me feel more confident about my purchase
54%
Makes the review more relevant to me
53%
Recent reviews are more trustworthy
23%

Send post-purchase emails at the right time. We recommend 7 days later for seasonal products, 14 days for perishable and soft goods, and 21 days for hard products. This way, the product is still fresh in their minds, but the consumer has had sufficient time to provide a thoughtful review.

4. Review Length

Review length refers to the character count of your reviews.

Consumers overwhelmingly find longer reviews to be more helpful because they contain richer detail and more relevant information. They also tend to contain more keywords, which gives your SEO a nice boost. Our research shows that reviews of 500 characters or more have the largest impact on conversion rate.

Conversion Rate of Visitors that Engaged with Each Feature
Highest Rating
157.8%
Lowest Rating
105%
Images
167.3%
"Most Helpful" Reviews
192.1%
Most Recent Reviews
80.9%
Oldest Reviews
107.3%

Add a character counter to your review form. Inspire shoppers to keep writing with encouraging phrases like “Keep going!” and a green progress bar.

5. Reviews by Source

This captures the sources through which you have collected reviews, such as email, social, SMS, or organic traffic.

It’s important to know which channels are your top-performing for review collection, so you can focus your efforts in the places that generate the most reviews. By the same token, if you notice that one channel is underperforming, you can look into it and see what you can do to improve review collection. 

Keep an eye out for trends. Do certain channels drive more positive or more negative reviews? Do some channels, such as text, generate shorter reviews? Consider optimizing your Write-A-Review form or provide yes/no questions they can answer.

6. Reviews by Incentive

This describes the incentive programs you use to collect reviews, such as loyalty points, sampling, or sweepstakes.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of consumers say they need an incentive to be motivated to write a review. The top incentives include receiving a product for free or before it’s available to the public, or earning discounts or loyalty points with a store or brand. It’s good to track the success of your different incentive campaigns so you can determine which type of incentive is most persuasive to your particular customer set.

Incentives Leading to Review Submissions
Receiving the Product Free of Charge
91%
Receiving a Product Before It's Available to the Public
85%
Discounts with Store or Brand
67%
Loyalty Points with Store or Brand
59%

Pay attention to how different incentive campaigns affect your review generation and ratings. If one is particularly successful, you may want to regularly run that type of incentive program throughout the year.

7. Review Form Submission Rate

This captures how many reviewers actually complete their review, out of how many started writing a review.

In many ways, the usefulness of your reviews hinges on the success of your Write-a-Review form. Analyzing your form submission rate can reveal potential issues, such as whether the form doesn’t work as well on mobile devices or for certain products.

Keep an eye on your review form submission rate. If it suddenly drops on a certain day, or for one type of device, something may be broken. If the review submission rate is much lower on certain products, it may be that some of the questions feel less relevant to that product. You can also experiment with a shorter review form — or making more questions optional — to increase your submission rate.

8. Review Questions

This captures the response rate for individual questions on your review form.

To make their reviews more helpful to customers, many brands and retailers opt to add optional questions to their review form, beyond the standard star rating and blank text box. This is something we always encourage as it improves review quality – which shoppers value highly. However, you want to ensure you are asking the right questions. One way to tell is by seeing the average response rate for these questions, and the average star rating that corresponds with each one.

Pay attention to trends with your review questions. If certain MSQs correlate with lower star ratings, that may indicate a product quality issue you need to deal with to improve your ratings — or you may just need to rephrase that MSQ. If you have a hunch you have too many questions on your review form, consider removing some of the less-answered MSQs and see how that impacts your review submission rate.

9. Review Observations

Review observations are rules you set that automatically prevent some content from being published, such as reviews containing profanity or personally identifiable information (PII).

An important part of review content moderation is preventing profanity, PII, and other problematic content from getting published. However, sometimes a reviewer includes some of this content by mistake, like PII — and that can be easily fixed by improving the instructions on your review form.

Pay attention to which observations show up often. If you see a lot of PII appearing in your unpublished reviews, consider updating your review form instructions and reminding people not to include PII like their name or location.

10. Review Trends

Review trends describe trends in your native review collection, such as how your star rating, review collection, and review length are trending over time.

Having a bird’s-eye view of how your review collection is going can help you identify potential issues or opportunities. For example, does your review collection soar or slump during certain times of the year?

Stay ahead of negative reviews by responding to changes in review trends. If your rating goes down, read the reviews to understand why. If you notice a dip in review length, update your character counter. If you identify slow periods, proactively run a sweepstakes or sampling campaign during that time of year.

Optimize your review collection efforts with review analytics

Review analytics can be the game changer between a decent reviews strategy and an outstanding one. By analyzing your review collection, you can unlock essential insights and discover opportunities to generate more impactful reviews.

If you’re a current PowerReviews customer, you can access all of these metrics in your reporting for free. Not yet a PowerReviews customer? Learn how we can help you do more with UGC.

Savannah Claspell

Savannah is an Enterprise Customer Success Manager, passionate about using data and analytics to empower brands to grow their business. When she isn’t helping brands increase and leverage their UGC you can find her deep in a good book, running, or mountainside skiing.

How shoppers discover, browse, research, and buy products both online and in-store, according to a survey of nearly 13,000 consumers in the US

Survey at a Glance:

The From Discovery to Purchase: Key Digital & Physical Influences on the Customer Journey report is based on a survey of 12,866 US consumers fielded in August 2022. Here’s a preview of our key findings.

Online Shoppers do Their Research – and are Open to Discovering Products Via Marketing
  • The top five places consumers conduct pre-purchase research are Google or an equivalent search engine (89%), Amazon (88%), brand websites (56%), Walmart.com (55%), and other retailer websites (54%).

  • 62% of shoppers say a paid advertisement doesn’t decrease the likelihood they’ll click on something; 9% said it increases their likelihood of doing so.

  • Certain factors increase marketing email clickthrough, including price discounts or promotions (85%), products that pique the shopper’s interest (49%) and positive ratings and reviews (46%). The same three factors increase clickthrough of social media posts or ads.
Website Visitors Leverage Many Features to Find the Best-Fit Products
  • 99% use website search bars at least sometimes.

  • 96% use category dropdowns at least sometimes.

  • The top three factors website visitors consider when determining which products to explore further are price (87%), ratings and reviews (82%), and listed discounts (63%).
Ratings and Reviews are the Top Consideration on Product Pages
  • 92% of shoppers consider ratings and reviews when viewing product pages.

  • Other top considerations include price (88%), written descriptions from the brand/retailer (68%), questions provided by previous customers (65%), and shipping information (62%). 

  • Top sites where consumers have converted in the last six months include Amazon (97%), retailer websites (74%), Walmart.com (71%), and brand websites (56%).
In-Store Shoppers Research Online Prior to Purchase
  • 99% of shoppers research purchases online before going to a store at least sometimes.

  • 92% research purchases online while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

  • In-store shoppers consider many factors when researching products online, including price (90%), ratings and reviews (84%), product information provided by the brand (61%), and in-store availability (60%) – among others. 
Chapter 1

Introduction

In the past few years, retail has undergone a dramatic shift. For starters, more spending has shifted online – a trend that accelerated at the start of the pandemic yet shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Statista forecasts that by 2025, ecommerce will account for nearly a quarter of total global retail sales. 

And while in-store shopping continues to thrive, we’re seeing some big changes there, too. Services such as buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) after a slow start are becoming more commonplace – which are blurring the lines between ecommerce and in-person shopping and transforming the role of the store. And in-store shoppers are doing plenty of online research – both before and while they’re in physical stores. 

Regardless of whether a consumer is browsing online, in-store, or some combination of the two, their journey is rarely as linear as the marketing textbooks would have you think. Instead, it’s full of twists and turns – and oftentimes, multiple channels. According to a report from Salesforce, over three-quarters of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction.

For brands and retailers, this is a logistical nightmare. How do shoppers find out about and research your products? And consequently: where should you invest resources on customer acquisition in a world where you can’t possibly accurately size the impact of each and every part of your marketing strategy?

Now, more than ever, brands and retailers must focus on delivering seamless shopping experiences across channels that meet the expectations of modern consumers. The first step is to better understand what their habits and expectations are. 

Recently, we surveyed nearly 13,000 consumers in the US to understand how they’re navigating the purchase journey. In this report, we’ll explore how shoppers discover, research, browse, and compare products – whether they purchase online or in a brick-and-mortar store. 

Chapter 2

Who We Surveyed

This report is based on an analysis of a survey of 12,866 consumers in the US from August 2022. Here’s a closer look at who we surveyed. 

Generations

Gen Z
(1997-present)
2%
Millennials
(1981-1996)
52%
Gen X
(1965-1980)
36%
Baby Boomers
(1946-1964)
10%

Household Income

$0-$25,000
10%
$26,000-$50,000
20%
$51,000-$75,000
21%
$76,00-$100,000
18%
$101,000+
25%
Prefer not to say
6%
Chapter 3

Shopping Frequency & Spending Across Channels

Before we examine how shoppers are navigating the shopping journey, let’s first take a step back to see how frequently they’re shopping across channels and how much they’re spending. 

Consumers Shop Frequently

The most common shopping frequency for both online and in-store shoppers is 2-3 times per week. Notably, consumers are more likely to shop online daily than they are to do so in-store. 

In addition, shopping frequency varies by age – but only slightly. For example, younger consumers shop online slightly more often than their older counterparts. 

Shopping Frequency: Online vs. In-Store
Approximately how often do you shop online/in-store on average? *Include grocery shopping
Overall
Online
Daily
15%
2-3 times a week
38%
Once a week
22%
Once every two weeks
13%
Once every month
8%
Once every three months
2%
Once every six months
1%
Less frequently than once every six months
1%
In-Store
Daily
5%
2-3 times a week
45%
Once a week
32%
Once every two weeks
12%
Once every month
4%
Once every three months
1%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
1%
Gen Z
Online
Daily
15%
2-3 times a week
34%
Once a week
21%
Once every two weeks
15%
Once every month
11%
Once every three months
2%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
0%
In-Store
Daily
6%
2-3 times a week
46%
Once a week
32%
Once every two weeks
12%
Once every month
3%
Once every three months
0%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
1%
Millennials
Online
Daily
17%
2-3 times a week
40%
Once a week
22%
Once every two weeks
12%
Once every month
7%
Once every three months
1%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
1%
In-Store
Daily
5%
2-3 times a week
46%
Once a week
32%
Once every two weeks
12%
Once every month
4%
Once every three months
1%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
0%
Gen X
Online
Daily
14%
2-3 times a week
38%
Once a week
22%
Once every two weeks
14%
Once every month
9%
Once every three months
2%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
1%
In-Store
Daily
5%
2-3 times a week
44%
Once a week
32%
Once every two weeks
12%
Once every month
5%
Once every three months
1%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
1%
Boomers
Online
Daily
10%
2-3 times a week
30%
Once a week
20%
Once every two weeks
17%
Once every month
16%
Once every three months
4%
Once every six months
1%
Less frequently than once every six months
2%
In-Store
Daily
2%
2-3 times a week
40%
Once a week
34%
Once every two weeks
16%
Once every month
6%
Once every three months
1%
Once every six months
0%
Less frequently than once every six months
1%

Monthly Spend Across Channels Varies

The largest portion of online shoppers (30%) spend between $101 and $250 per month, while the largest portion of in-store shoppers (32%) spend between $251 and $500. It seems consumers are shopping online more frequently – but the transactions are smaller. On the other hand, consumers tend to shop in-store less frequently – but spend more when they do. 

As expected, monthly spending is correlated with household income. Those with higher incomes tend to spend more each month.

Average Monthly Spending by Income
Approximately how much do you personally spend online/in-store per month on average?
Overall
Online
$0
1%
$1-100
24%
$101-250
30%
$251-500
26%
$501-1000
13%
$1001-2000
4%
$2001+
2%
In-Store
$0
1%
$1-100
14%
$101-250
24%
$251-500
32%
$501-1000
22%
$1001-2000
6%
$2001+
1%
Household Income $0-$25,000
Online
$0
3%
$1-100
52%
$101-250
27%
$251-500
13%
$501-1000
4%
$1001-2000
1%
$2001+
0%
In-Store
$0
2%
$1-100
30%
$101-250
33%
$251-500
24%
$501-1000
9%
$1001-2000
1%
$2001+
1%
Household Income $26,000-$50,000
Online
$0
1%
$1-100
34%
$101-250
35%
$251-500
21%
$501-1000
7%
$1001-2000
1%
$2001+
1%
In-Store
$0
1%
$1-100
17%
$101-250
29%
$251-500
35%
$501-1000
14%
$1001-2000
3%
$2001+
1%
Household Income $51,000-$75,000
Online
$0
0%
$1-100
23%
$101-250
35%
$251-500
27%
$501-1000
11%
$1001-2000
3%
$2001+
1%
In-Store
$0
0%
$1-100
11%
$101-250
23%
$251-500
37%
$501-1000
23%
$1001-2000
4%
$2001+
1%
Household Income $76,000-$100,000
Online
$0
0%
$1-100
16%
$101-250
31%
$251-500
31%
$501-1000
16%
$1001-2000
4%
$2001+
2%
In-Store
$0
0%
$1-100
10%
$101-250
21%
$251-500
35%
$501-1000
26%
$1001-2000
7%
$2001+
1%
Household Income $101,000+
Online
$0
0%
$1-100
10%
$101-250
24%
$251-500
32%
$501-1000
22%
$1001-2000
8%
$2001+
4%
In-Store
$0
0%
$1-100
8%
$101-250
19%
$251-500
29%
$501-1000
30%
$1001-2000
11%
$2001+
3%
Chapter 4

How Consumers Discover, Browse, and Buy Online

Ecommerce is growing – and will continue to do so. Let’s take a closer look at how consumers discover, browse, and ultimately, purchase products online. 

Researching and Discovering Products Online

Where Online Shoppers Conduct Product Research

Online shoppers do plenty of research before making a purchase – and they have endless information at their fingertips. Here’s a look at where shoppers are doing their product research. Perhaps not surprisingly, Google (or another search engine) tops the list – with Amazon coming in at a close second. While answers vary slightly by generation, Google and Amazon are the top for each. 

Where Consumers Research Products
Which of the following do you use for online research when RESEARCHING or CONSIDERING WHETHER TO BUY a product online?
Overall
Google or equivalent search engine
89%
Amazon.com
88%
Brand website (Nike, Apple, etc)
56%
Walmart.com
55%
Another retailer’s website (Target, Zappos, etc)
54%
Gen Z
Google or equivalent search engine
89%
Amazon.com
86%
Brand website (Nike, Apple, etc)
56%
Walmart.com
62%
Another retailer’s website (Target, Zappos, etc)
61%
Millennials
Google or equivalent search engine
90%
Amazon.com
89%
Brand website (Nike, Apple, etc)
57%
Walmart.com
56%
Another retailer’s website (Target, Zappos, etc)
58%
Gen X
Google or equivalent search engine
87%
Amazon.com
86%
Brand website (Nike, Apple, etc)
56%
Walmart.com
53%
Another retailer’s website (Target, Zappos, etc)
49%
Boomers
Google or equivalent search engine
80%
Amazon.com
81%
Brand website (Nike, Apple, etc)
50%
Walmart.com
48%
Another retailer’s website (Target, Zappos, etc)
42%

The Role of Marketing Initiatives in Product Discovery

Oftentimes, consumers stumble upon products being promoted by paid advertising – whether or not they’re actively shopping. Maybe it’s a search ad that displays alongside Google search results. Or perhaps a display ad on a favorite website. 62% of consumers indicate a paid advertisement doesn’t decrease the likelihood they’ll click on something – and 9% indicate it’ll actually increase their likelihood of doing so. 

Of note, Gen Z’ers are the generation most likely to indicate a paid promotion will increase their likelihood of clicking through, whereas Millennials are the group most likely to say such a promotion will decrease their likelihood of clickthrough. 

Paid Promotions Don’t Deter Most Online Shoppers
If – when browsing different products online – you notice that a product has been promoted with paid advertising, does that make you more or less likely to click on it?
Overall
More
9%
Less
29%
No Difference
62%
Gen Z
More
18%
Less
28%
No Difference
53%
Millennials
More
10%
Less
31%
No Difference
59%
Gen X
More
8%
Less
27%
No Difference
65%
Boomers
More
6%
Less
24%
No Difference
70%

Email is another common marketing tactic used by brands and retailers. Our survey found that there are many components of marketing emails that increase the likelihood of clickthrough. Chief among them? The presence of a price discount or sales promotion. 

Email Marketing Components That Increase Click Through
When you receive a MARKETING EMAIL from a brand or retailer, which of the following increases the likelihood that you will click through?
Price discounts or sales promotions
85%
Products that jump out to you
49%
Positive ratings and reviews
46%
Newly launched products
36%
Compelling images or videos of the product
30%
The brand promoted
22%
Celebrity or influencer endorsements
6%

Price discounts or sales promotions are also the component of brand or retailer social media posts or ads that are most likely to increase clickthrough. However, there are many other features – including positive ratings and reviews – that shoppers say will increase their likelihood of clicking through. 

Social Media Post or Ad Components That Increase Click Through
When you see a SOCIAL MEDIA POST OR AD from a brand or retailer, which of the following increases the likelihood that you will click through?
Price discounts or sales promotions
76%
Products that jump out to you
55%
Positive ratings and reviews
47%
Newly launched products
34%
Compelling images or videos of the product
33%
The brand promoted
24%
Celebrity or influencer endorsements
8%

Exploring ECommerce Sites

A shopper lands on an ecommerce site, either organically or as the result of a marketing initiative. Here’s a look at how they navigate the site – and the criteria they use to determine which products to explore further.

Website Visitors Rely on Certain Site Features

The vast majority (99%) of consumers use the search bar of websites to find a product at least sometimes. Notably, Gen Z shoppers are the group most likely to indicate they always type searches into the search bar of websites.

Most Shoppers Use the Search Bar on Websites
How often do you type a search for a product into the search bar of a website you are shopping on to find a product?
Overall
Always
29%
Frequently
53%
Sometimes
17%
Never
1%
Gen Z
Always
38%
Frequently
45%
Sometimes
16%
Never
1%
Millennials
Always
31%
Frequently
54%
Sometimes
15%
Never
0%
Gen X
Always
27%
Frequently
55%
Sometimes
17%
Never
1%
Boomers
Always
25%
Frequently
48%
Sometimes
26%
Never
1%

Most shoppers – 96% – also use category dropdowns as a way to navigate websites. Gen Z’ers are particularly frequent users of website dropdowns. 

Most Shoppers Leverage Category Dropdowns on eCommerce Sites
How often do you use the category dropdowns at the top of a website you are shopping on (e.g. on Amazon.com these include “Groceries”, “Fashion”, “Beauty & Personal Care” and “Pet Supplies” etc.)?
Overall
Always
18%
Frequently
42%
Sometimes
36%
Never
4%
Gen Z
Always
31%
Frequently
38%
Sometimes
29%
Never
2%
Millennials
Always
19%
Frequently
41%
Sometimes
35%
Never
5%
Gen X
Always
16%
Frequently
42%
Sometimes
37%
Never
5%
Boomers
Always
17%
Frequently
44%
Sometimes
35%
Never
4%

Website Visitors Consider Many Factors

After landing on a website, shoppers weigh myriad factors to determine which products to explore further. Price (87%) and ratings and reviews (82%) top the list. Brands and retailers must ensure this information is easy to find not only on product pages – but also category pages and even the homepage.

Top Considerations of Website Visitors Determining Which Products to Explore Further
Before you land on a product page, which of the following do you rely on earlier in your journey on a website to establish which product to further explore?
Price
87%
Ratings and Reviews
82%
Any discount listed (e.g. 20% off)
63%
Picture(s) provided of the product
48%
Shipping information
46%
Brand
44%
In store availability
42%

Navigating Product Pages and Making Purchase Decisions

After landing on a product page, shoppers consider many factors to determine whether or not to make a purchase. Ratings and reviews top the list, with 92% of consumers indicating this is something they consider. In fact, ratings and reviews surpasses even the price of the product in terms of importance. 

Top Factors Shoppers Consider on Product Pages
When browsing or viewing a product page, which of the following types of information do you consider?
Ratings and Reviews
92%
Price
88%
The written description of the product provided by the brand
68%
Questions provided by previous customers (and accompanying answers)
65%
Shipping information
62%
Dimensions/sizing and size information
57%
Pictures and videos from previous purchasers
49%
Returns information
47%
Professional pictures and videos from the brand
34%

Where Online Shoppers Convert

Earlier in this report, we explored where consumers start the online purchase journey. But where are they ultimately making a purchase? The majority – 97% – have made a purchase from Amazon in the last six months. However, a large portion of online shoppers have also made purchases on retailer and brand websites. 

Where Online Shoppers Buy
In the last six months, which of the following websites/types of websites have you MADE A PURCHASE on?
Amazon.com
97%
Another retailer’s website (Target, Zappos, etc)
74%
Walmart.com
71%
Brand website (Nike, Apple, etc)
56%
Chapter 5

How & Where In-Store Shoppers Conduct Pre-Purchase Research

Sure, ecommerce is growing. However, the majority of retail purchases still happen in a brick-and-mortar store. In many cases, these in-store shoppers are doing plenty of research before making an in-store purchase. 

99% of those we surveyed research products online before setting foot in a store. Gen Z shoppers are particularly frequent pre-purchase researchers. 

How Often Shoppers Research Products Online Before Shopping In-Store
How often do you research a purchase online BEFORE shopping in a store?
Overall
Always
31%
Frequently
45%
Sometimes
23%
Never
1%
Gen Z
Always
37%
Frequently
43%
Sometimes
18%
Never
2%
Millennials
Always
33%
Frequently
46%
Sometimes
20%
Never
1%
Gen X
Always
28%
Frequently
46%
Sometimes
25%
Never
1%
Boomers
Always
27%
Frequently
39%
Sometimes
32%
Never
2%

In addition, a large portion of consumers – 92% – pull out their phones to do research while shopping in a physical store location. Though shoppers of all generations do this, younger consumers tend to do it more frequently. 

How Frequently In-Store Shoppers Research Products While in a Store
How often do you research a purchase online WHILE shopping in store?
Overall
Always
17%
Frequently
40%
Sometimes
35%
Never
8%
Gen Z
Always
25%
Frequently
38%
Sometimes
33%
Never
4%
Millennials
Always
19%
Frequently
38%
Sometimes
38%
Never
5%
Gen X
Always
14%
Frequently
35%
Sometimes
41%
Never
10%
Boomers
Always
13%
Frequently
24%
Sometimes
44%
Never
19%

In-store shoppers consider many factors when researching in-store purchases online. However, price and ratings and reviews are the two that top the list. 

Factors Consumers Consider When Researching In-Store Purchases Online
When researching IN-STORE PURCHASES online, which of the following do you take into account when deciding whether to click through?
Price
90%
Ratings and Reviews
84%
Product information provided by the brand (dimensions/sizing, material)
61%
In-store availability
60%
Pictures and videos from previous purchasers
43%
Professional pictures and videos from the brand
28%
Chapter 6

5 Key Takeaways for Winning Brands & Retailers

Ecommerce is growing, but brick-and-mortar continues to thrive. Brands and retailers must focus on delivering great experiences throughout the purchase journey, whether it’s online, in-store, or some combination of the two.

Read on to explore the five key takeaways from our latest survey. 

One
Google and Amazon are Top Sites for Product Research

Nearly nine in ten (89%) of consumers turn to Google or another search engine when researching products online, and 88% use Amazon to conduct pre-purchase research. Brands and retailers must have a solid SEO strategy in place to ensure their product pages appear high in search results. Collecting and displaying a steady stream of reviews can have a positive impact on search rank, so be sure to make that a priority. In addition, consider displaying star ratings in your paid search ads as a way to entice more shoppers to learn more. 

TWO
Certain Factors Boost the Effectiveness of Digital Marketing Initiatives

Digital marketing – such as email and social media – are effective ways to get more visitors to your product pages. Consider infusing your campaigns with promotions, as well as ratings and reviews content. Many consumers indicate the presence of these components increases their likelihood of clicking through.

THREE
Website Visitors Leverage Myriad Website Features to Find the Products That Best Fit Their Needs

Once a consumer lands on your website, it’s essential to provide them with the tools and information they need to find the products that best fit their needs. 99% of consumers use the search bar on websites, and 96% use category drop downs. So be sure to incorporate these features into your website. 

In addition, 82% of shoppers rely on ratings and reviews prior to landing on a product page to determine which products to explore further. So look for opportunities to add star ratings and reviews content to other parts of your website, including category pages and even your homepage. 

FOUR
Ratings and Reviews are the Top Consideration on Product Pages

Once a shopper lands on a product page, the presence of ratings and reviews is THE most important factor impacting purchase decisions. In fact, the importance of ratings and reviews surpasses price. 

Make it a top priority to collect reviews across your entire product catalog. Then, prominently display this content on your product pages. Be sure to include features in your review display that make it easy for shoppers to sort, filter, and search for the content that’s most relevant to them – regardless of what device they’re using to browse and buy. 

FIVE
In-Store Shoppers Do Plenty of Research

99% of shoppers do online research at least sometimes before shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. And 92% research a product while in the store.

In-store shoppers consider many factors when conducting online product research. Price and ratings and reviews top the list. Be sure your online shoppers can easily access this information when browsing your website or mobile app via their mobile device. 

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