For years, we’ve known that ratings and reviews play a key role in attracting shoppers and catalyzing sales—consumers are notoriously more trusting of peers than of brand marketing—but exactly how valuable are they?
New research from connected commerce firm Stackline offers some eye-opening findings about their importance to brand performance. For example, loyalty rates have actually plummeted, with only 12 percent of brands successfully retaining their shoppers annually.
So, where do ratings and reviews fit in? The research finds they are not just a component but the most vital element for brand success, beating out pricing and inventory. Here are six insights illuminating just how profoundly ratings and reviews shape the connected commerce ecosystem.
Shoppers prioritize reviews
In a survey of 50,000 shoppers, reviews emerged as the most crucial factor in purchasing decisions, outpacing price, content, and even fulfillment.
Brand leaders recognize the shortfall
In a survey of 400 brand leaders, 87 percent reported the need for more reviews, and 81 percent expressed the need for better ratings.
Shoppers rarely leave reviews
On average, shoppers review only 0.2 percent of the products they purchase. This lack of engagement is prevalent across the connected commerce ecosystem, not just on Amazon. It’s no wonder brand leaders are eager to find solutions.
When shoppers do leave reviews, they’re not always glowing endorsements
On average, brands receive a 3.93-star rating. Except for apparel, brands in every department fall below a 4-star rating on average.
Five-star reviews make a significant impact
The firm leveraged its data capabilities and ability to empower reviews for this study, and found that adding 20 five-star reviews to a product page resulted in remarkable results. Visitor traffic increased by 8 percent, thanks to improved organic placement and enhanced brand perception. Moreover, conversion rates experienced a staggering 22 percent boost.
So what’s the actual value of a 5-star review?
The true worth of a five-star review of course depends on the product. For high-consideration purchases, like baby apparel and equipment, where shoppers meticulously read every review, the average value of a five-star review is $472. In the case of high-ticket items like electronics, the value is $441.