Increasing Revenue through Online Reviews

Increasing Revenue through Online Reviews

In today’s digital age, companies spend a staggering €1 trillion every year on marketing and advertising to  attract potential consumers to buy their products. They draw consumers to their websites, offer clever experiences, persuade them to purchase their goods and direct them to the payment screen. However, despite their efforts, the shopper doesn’t always make the final purchase.

Recent research released by Salesforce, highlights the trends in online shopping based on an analysis of 1.2 billion shoppers from 51 different countries who made 22 billion visits to eCommerce sites. The research found that the global cart abandonment rate was 87% in Q1, and the global mobile abandonment rate was 93%. So, despite billions being spent, most consumers leave their virtual shopping carts before making a purchase. This is because most shoppers have a level of uncertainty when it comes to hitting that final button, leaving eCommerce companies wondering, what more can we do?

To reduce cart abandonment, and increase conversions, companies are starting to invest heavily in redesigning the online shopping experience. All this time and effort are being put into ensuring that consumers, even just 1% more, complete their purchase without leaving the website. Trends, best practices, and pitfalls all start to emerge as companies experiment with different strategies. But future eCommerce leaders will excel at giving consumers the unbiased information and viewpoints they require to make decisions more quickly.



Transparency is needed

The impact of reviews on the checkout experience is one of the aspects that has emerged over the past 18 months. According to a BrightLocal survey, 87% of consumers read reviews, and 79% trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. Online retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of authentic reviews on their bottom line. Displaying consumer reviews on websites and landing pages can increase conversion rates. According to a recent study from Northwestern University, having at least five good product reviews can boost the likelihood of purchase by 270%.

Consumers seek out peer suggestions and advice because they trust each other’s judgment. According to HubSpot, 81% of consumers believe that recommendations from friends and family are more reliable than those from companies. Additionally, 87% of consumers have said that real-life consumer reviews had a significantly greater influence on their choice to make a purchase than an influencer or celebrity reviews.  People are impacted by a variety of conversations with friends, family, reviews, and experts when making a final purchasing decision.


Quality of Reviews

Online retailers that are considering collecting reviews from consumers must do it properly. They must ensure that they compile these reviews from people and sources that consumers trust. It matters where reviews come from, but it is also vital for them to be relevant to consumer preferences. Reviews need to come from a variety of sources, websites, and viewpoints. Shoppers won’t be able to obtain a complete picture of client consumer sentiments and product ratings if they don’t.

Although 5-star ratings might make the product team happy, they might make consumers suspicious. Ironically, the same study by Northwestern discovered that average reviews might increase sales. Products with a star rating between 4.7 and 5.0 are less likely to be bought than those with an average star rating between 4.2 and 4.7. This shows that consumers consider evaluations at the extremes of the spectrum to be ‘too good to be true’. Additionally, negative reviews may be positive. 82% of consumers deliberately seek out unfavourable reviews. Readers are wary of reviews that are overly enthusiastic and often, a negative internet review is perceived as more reliable.


Overall thoughts

Consumers are looking for transparency and trusted information, and growing revenue won’t simply come from advertising and marketing. If reviews are utilised correctly, they can help retailers to increase trust, sales and reduce cart abandonment rates. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Declan Kelly ( from our Digital Consulting team at BDO.