Report: Reviews Have Positive Effect on Online Sales

San Francisco, Calif. Online shoppers are looking to user-generated reviews to get an unbiased opinion of retailers’ products and services, and retailers that tap into these reviews are creating loyal shoppers, according to a new whitepaper, “Merchant and Customer Perspectives on Customer Reviews and User-Generated Content.” The report is from the e-tailing group, Chicago, and San Francisco, Calif.-based enterprise solutions provider PowerReviews.

The whitepaper is based on responses from online retailers that feature online reviews. The results suggest that such retailers rely less on customer-service and call centers. One reason is that the reviews answer some of the questions that otherwise must be handled on a one-on-one basis.

Meanwhile, 79% of participating retailers said the product page is very successful as a product-review hub. In contrast, only 37% reported that reviews on the home page were successful. 

Participants agreed that the unbiased nature of reviews foster customer trust, and they believe that this trust translates into loyal, lifelong shoppers.

“This survey highlights the extraordinary reception that reviews are receiving throughout the merchant world,” said Jay Shaffer, VP of marketing at PowerReviews. “It also illustrates how retailers are leveraging online reviews technology to increase customer loyalty, provide a better customer experience, and increase their ROI.”