Study: Customer Reviews Increase Web Sales & Improve SEO
eMarketer posted the results of a study by Bazaarvoice & e-consultancy titled “Social Commerce Report 2007″. The report credits customer product reviews with improving conversion rates, site traffic and average order values.
UGC, Customer Reviews & Adoption
While the study points to great benefits for those who show consumer reviews on their sites, only 28% of the respondents in the study are currently displaying customer ratings and reviews. While these early adopters are tapping into user generated content with great success, and all respondents think that reviews are helpful for consumers, most e-tailers are hesitant.
It should come as no surprise that the primary barrier to adoption is cited as concern about negative reviews. However it appears that sites can enjoy greater success even in the face of negative reviews.
“…one-third of online sellers were concerned about negative reviews â€” a major barrier to adoption of ratings and reviews â€” “but retailers are finding that they can improve conversion rates, drive sales and increase customer satisfaction even if customers aren’t necessarily singing their praises all the time.”
Some key findings of the study – see eMarketer for the charts:
“Effect of Customer-Generated Ratings and Reviews on Select Web Site Metrics…”
- 77% reported that site traffic increased
- 56% reported that conversion rates increased
- 42% reported that average order value increased
“Leading Benefits of Customer-Generated Ratings and Reviews…”
- 79% reported improved site conversion rates
- 73% reported improved customer retention and loyalty
- 59% reported better search engine optimization
“Online Sources that US Online Holiday Shoppers Turn to First for Product Information…”
Online consumer reviews turned in respectable numbers in addition to search engines, company web sites and online news coverage.
- “Online consumer reviews mattered most in complex and high-ticket categories…”
- “Consumers first turned to search engines (43%) and direct visits to company sites (29%)… regardless of product category”