We have a lot of data from robust analytics that reveal the answers to how the amount of reviews can sway your sales page conversions. To help you best understand them, and at the same time learn how to make the most of the effects, we've pulled out the most important ones. Of course, there are clear charts. Keep reading!
A new analysis has recently been released1 that makes it absolutely indisputable that the number of reviews matters. It reviewed 4.5 billion visits to 1.5 million online product pages from 1,200 retail and brand sites as data. In short, a mind-boggling sample that yielded robust and highly generalizable conclusions.
Some are not so surprising - like the fact that people trust reviews more than ever. But others are a bit more interesting.
Let's first consider the impact of reviews in general.
In 2018, consumer research revealed what role reviews play for them when shopping. At the time, 97% said they followed reviews closely, and for 89% of shoppers, reading reviews was a solid part of the shopping journey.2
Even then, these were impressive numbers. But they've undergone another massive increase over the past few years that means the majority (99.9%) of today's consumers can no longer do without reviews. And it's only logical. In a world where one no longer knows what to trust, reviews are an authentic and unbiased source of information for buyers to make smart, worry-free purchases.
Consumer trust in reviews is even so strong that 86% of online shoppers won't buy until they've read at least a few. So the need for social proof is strong!
The 2021 analysis3 found that any shopper interaction with product reviews and ratings directly increases conversions, by as much as 120.3%.
In the chart below, note that reviews even outperform the price of the product by a full 3%4 in terms of their importance for shopping.
The following analysis provides the answer.
In order to accurately assess the impact of the number of reviews on all stages of the purchase process, the authors calculated the conversion rate of visitors to the product page with the most reviews (calculated as all interactions with a particular site in 24 hours). The advantage of this buyer-centric approach is the ability to directly observe the impact of reviews on the probability of conversion.
Data revealed an incredible effect:
The conclusion is clear: the more reviews you have, the better you sell.
The conclusion of the analysis also makes sense from a theory perspective. Marketing professor at the University of South Carolina Dr. Sungsik Park said recently in an interview5 with the Wall Street Journal: "It's all about sample size. The more reviews, the more likely the comments will reflect the actual quality of the product."
Nearly six in ten customers report that they will happily purchase a product without reviews if they know that other items from the same brand have a high number of quality reviews. This is a simple example of the psychological halo effect that is created by reviews. We'll talk about that next time.