PowerReviews Releases Study on the Impact of Product Ratings and Reviews on Consumer Purchase Behavior

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Power of Reviews’ explores shifting consumer expectations and the resulting implications for retailers.

Feb. 11, 2015 – CHICAGO – Mobile devices have blurred the lines between in-store and online environments, making product specific information available at your fingertips. As technology continues to facilitate better access to this information, consumers will only demand more of it – not only from retailers and manufacturers, but from other consumers as well.

PowerReviews, the leading provider of ratings and reviews technology to more than 1,000 brands and retailers, has released a new study, “The Power of Reviews,” that explores the nuances of how shoppers are using ratings and reviews. Specifically, the study investigates how shoppers consume reviews, the resulting impact on buying behavior and how retailers can better navigate this shift in consumer expectations.

“Reviews have become standard resource for consumers making purchase decisions.  Ratings and reviews are no longer an option, but an expectation,” said Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews. “The burden ultimately falls on retailers and brands to provide shoppers with the information they need to make confident purchase decisions, present it in a compelling format and make it available across channels.”

Among the findings of PowerReviews’ study:

Product reviews drive channel preferences

Consumers prefer to shop through channels that make product information, including ratings and reviews, easily accessible. If e-commerce sites or mobile apps lack the product information shoppers need to confidently make a purchase, they will search for it elsewhere, and retailers risk losing them to a competitor who is providing the information. As the retail industry becomes increasingly omnichannel, retailers should incorporate ratings and reviews at every touch point.

  • More than half (57%) of online shoppers reported specifically seeking out websites with product reviews.
  • Seventy percent of mobile shoppers reported being more likely to purchase a product if the mobile site or app they’re purchasing from has reviews.

How Shoppers Consume Product Reviews

As consumers are using new channels to seek out reviews, their information consumption habits are changing as well. Shoppers should be able to search for product information and find what they need with minimal effort. Most consumers read between one and 10 reviews and thus need information presented in an easy-to-scan format. Additionally, consumers are seeking out negative reviews to validate the authenticity of those reviews and the trustworthiness of the site.

Just as the finding and consuming of reviews should be made easy, the process of leaving a review must be simple as well. Less than half of consumers contribute reviews and Millennials, who consult review feedback most frequently, are least likely to contribute.

  • More than half (53%) of shoppers consider retail websites to be the most trustworthy source of reviews.
  • Eighty-two  percent of consumers specifically seek out negative reviews. For shoppers under 45, it jumps to 86%.
  • Three out of four shoppers prefer tag-based reviews, which provide a quick snapshot of review keywords and sentiment.
  • On average, 42% of consumers write reviews, while for shoppers 18-29, only 32% contribute review feedback.

For more information and to download the full report, visit  www.powerreviews.com.

About PowerReviews

PowerReviews software helps more than 1,000 brands and retailers collect, display and syndicate customer reviews and answer customer questions. Ratings, reviews and Q&A allow companies to reach customers at the moment of purchase and help to drive traffic, increase sales and create actionable insights. The PowerReviews Syndication Network helps clients reach hundreds of millions of in-market shoppers on leading ecommerce sites and search engines. For more information, visit www.powerreviews.com.

If you’re without reviews, checkout our post on how to get more reviews to help get your program off the ground!

For additional information:

Andrew Cross

Walker Sands Communications