What You Need to Know in Under 5 Mins
Ratings and reviews can make or break a clothing brand. 86% of apparel shoppers “always” or “regularly” read reviews when shopping for new apparel products. And nearly as many (80%) are less likely to buy an apparel product if it has no reviews, including 89% of Gen Z shoppers.
The fast pace and seasonal nature of the fashion industry makes the apparel category highly competitive. So, building a great Ratings & Reviews program is important. To do that successfully, you need to understand how you stack up against other brands within your category.
Review Benchmarks: Apparel
The following benchmarks come from a representative analysis of product pages in the Apparel and Accessories category.
Monitoring the above metrics can help you ensure you’re generating both review quantity and review quality — the essential cornerstones of any high-impact UGC strategy.
53.5% of the apparel products we analyzed have at least 1 review, which is much lower than other verticals. One explanation could be that this category has a lot of seasonality to it. Apparel brands are continuously refreshing their product assortment, so you have lots of new products going live without reviews, and fewer products with reviews that are evergreen. Explanations aside, boosting this number is critical to standing out against competitors on the digital shelf.
This is just below the sweet spot we recommend for the optimal conversion lift. Our research shows that products with ratings between 4.75 – 4.99 stars have the highest conversion rates.
Longer reviews tend to have higher conversion rates, as they provide richer detail and more relevant information for shoppers. We recommend a stretch goal of 500 characters for the maximum uplift.
The average apparel product in our analysis has 279 reviews. This is excellent, as 90% of apparel shoppers say they are comfortable purchasing a clothing item as long as it has 100–500 reviews or less. Given consumers’ high demands for review volume in the apparel category, brands must be consistently reaching out to customers to collect new reviews.
16.5% of the apparel products we analyzed have at least one user-generated product image or a video. This is a good start, but consumers expect to see much more user-generated imagery from apparel brands. 99% of Gen Z shoppers seek out user-generated imagery at least sometimes when shopping for clothing online. And, increasing this percentage can work wonders for your conversion rates, as visitors who interact with user-generated photos and videos are 103.9% more likely to convert.
How Review Volume Impacts Conversion for Apparel Brands
Now that you know that 279 reviews per product is the baseline for apparel brands, the question becomes, “How many more reviews do you need to stand out?”
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about ratings and reviews, it’s that the needle is always moving. Today, 279 reviews per product is a good baseline to go after, but to really stand out, you need to always be collecting fresh, detailed reviews for your clothing and accessories.
Plus, the more reviews you have, the more likely a shopper is to convert. Just take a look at this chart, which shows the lift in conversion when a customer sees a product page with a certain number of reviews displayed vs. a product page with 0 reviews.
As you can see, there is a direct relationship between review volume and conversion lift. The more reviews a product has, the more likely it is to be purchased.
What Makes a Great Apparel Product Review?
Review volume is important, but so is review quality. Let’s take a look at what makes a great review for a product in the apparel and accessories category.
When people are shopping for apparel items, they are looking for lots of very specific information that you only really get once you dig into the review. Apparel shoppers want to understand all the elements that they can’t experience virtually through the online shopping experience. For example:
- How does the reviewer rate and describe the quality of the material?
- Was the item a good value for what they paid?
- What’s the fit like?
These questions can be answered by a detailed, high-quality review — all the more so if the reviewer includes a photo of the item itself! (Did we mention that shoppers who interact with user-generated imagery convert at a rate 103.9% higher?) The more information that you capture, the more likely you are to drive conversions.
How to Collect Apparel Reviews That Convert Browsers Into Buyers
So, how can apparel brands maximize the quality of their reviews, with an eye towards lifting conversions? It all comes down to how you optimize your review form.
At PowerReviews, we enable brands to add custom questions to their review forms to zoom in on the most relevant information for their customers. For apparel brands, these questions often speak to the quality, fit, and size of a product. It’s also important to ask questions about the reviewer’s body shape, so that future customers can seek out reviews from people like them.
Your goal is to maximize the information you capture from a review, without overwhelming the reviewer so that they give up. We find that 8 questions is the sweet spot and once a form becomes much longer than that, you tend to see a higher rate of abandonment. So, be selective!
These specific questions are particularly important for the Apparel category, even more so than others. Nearly all (92%) of consumers pay attention to sizing and fit information when shopping for clothing, and 94% find it helpful to see measurement information (height, weight, etc.) from reviews for apparel.
Once you have your review form and display optimized for maximum impact, it’s time to go out and collect those reviews! Try:
Bonus Step: Syndicate Your Reviews for Maximum Impact
Collecting reviews for your website is an important first step. To really extend the reach of your reviews — and boost conversions in the process — you’ll want to generate high review volumes for your top-priority retail partners, too.
Fortunately, there’s a super-easy way to do that, and it’s called Review Syndication. Here’s how it works: You collect a review through your website, and then – through the power of UGC Syndication by PowerReviews – that review gets pushed to your retailer partners who sell that same product.
Here’s an example from The North Face, who turned a single review on their website into 4 reviews for their retail partners.
Review syndication exponentially increases the value and reach of your review, putting it in front of more eyeballs and increasing your sales volumes at your retail partners. We recommend choosing retailers based on your sales data, as your best-selling retailers are the ones where you’re going to get the biggest uplift from syndication.
Does your UGC strategy deserve a fashion makeover? Contact PowerReviews today to learn more about how UGC can grow your sales.