Reviews support conversions - find out more in the following overview, based on a study covering 1.5 million online products from 1,200 brands.
Almost 100% of them research the product carefully online before buying, 77% of them target review sites. The trend is growing due to the current economic situation, most notably among younger generations, starting with Gen X. The search doesn't just involve flicking through pictures and counting stars - 68% need to read the full text, 97% research the date, and 99% intend to find at least a few dozen texts.
Buyers are interested in online reviews - but how does this reflect in conversions? Is review marketing really as effective as claimed? And what exactly works best? A new review study that analyzed 1.5 million products, from 1,200 brands, helps answer the questions. Data collection took place between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.
We've summarised the best of it in the following chapters. Find out more!
The effect is around 4%. Reviews subconsciously complete the image of a trusted brand, reassure social proof and encourage further exploration...
If review content causes a reaction from a buyer, you get up to 102% conversion lift, according to current data, which is a few percent more than in 2022. So the effect is steadily growing.
There can be several types of interactions with reviews, each of which works in a specific way and also has a unique conversion impact. Research shows that the strongest lift is delivered by elements such as voting on the value of a review, search, a scrolling gallery, or displaying a duel of positive vs. negative feedback.
Get to know them all!
Even though every opinion counts in review marketing, some texts will be better for customers than others. They will find more interesting information, better written, with nicer images and messages. How to find them? Simple - let people vote.
You can find the classic thumbs up and thumbs down on almost every review page nowadays. And in terms of conversions, they are literally priceless - if a customer rates the text positively after reading it, you can expect a conversion lift of almost 400%. A relatively high 270% lift will occur even if they rate negatively. If you're wondering why, it's important to remember that the customer isn't rating you, they're rating the opinion of others - if they're annoyed by one, it doesn't mean they won't buy the product.
While people need to see at least 100 texts when they make a purchase, they won't read them all, and it's a struggle for them to manually search for a post that tells them exactly what they need to know.
Is the product really effective for this type of stain? Is the vacuum cleaner too noisy? How does the paint look in normal light? If you add a search engine to the reviews, people will pull up the answer in seconds. So it's not surprising that this feature also delivers roughly 270% conversion lift.
Additionally, search data is a valuable source of information for brands about the customer mindset. What are they most interested in about the product? And what words do they use in their searches? It is worth monitoring the situation and regularly enriching your content with the most searched phrases and information.
Even a persistent reader of reviews will reach the bottom of the page at some point. What next? There are several options:
Even small interaction elements like this can sell. Thanks to them, the reader quickly finds his way around the texts, checks the quantity in a moment and then nothing prevents him from buying.
This element will satisfy customers on two fronts - they'll find out what you are great at, and what you're not good at yet. Don't show the whole review, just a snippet. This is because your goal is to get the customer to interact with the "view more" button. If he clicks this way on a positive review, it will be reflected in about 130% conversion lift.
The effect is very high (118%) even when reading the negative review. This is because with negative reviews, customers are exploring whether they can live with a possible deficiency, and since the answer will often be positive, the criticism may ironically lead them to buy.
As we wrote above, although buyers need a large volume of texts, it is not in human power to read them all. Manual searches will unnecessarily exhaust them and discourage them from buying. Therefore, other interactive elements that are worth implementing on a review page are word/star filters and product tags.
One picture or video often says more than a thousand words. Branded content is great, but it's usually shot in artificial light, in a stylized environment, and not always at an angle that the customer is interested in. The photos and videos in reviews elegantly solve this problem.
People take photos or videos of the purchased items authentically, in the warmth of their homes and in normal use, so it's immediately clear to everyone that they're not buying a pig in a poke. Therefore, it's no wonder that this type of content is targeted by 77% of people and, for top brands, accounts for up to 25% of all the links a search engine offers you. In short, your brand is living a parallel life, but fortunately it's a profitable one - reviews with photos and videos can double conversions.
There are several ways to display photos and videos, and each has a unique impact on how well they will sell.
Even when online shopping is the norm, there will always be a small element of suspicion caused by not being able to try a product first. Quality reviews can overcome this shortcoming of e-commerce. People trust them like the advice of a friend, so it's no wonder that quality social proof influences conversions.
The main conclusion of the study is that your review marketing must encourage interaction. This is what an ideal review site should have: