Monday, December 17, 2007

Consumer Reviews Are Positive

Not long ago I wrote a post for the eBrandMarketing blog urging marketers to encourage consumer ratings of their products. Data keeps rolling in that shows the power of this user-generated content in the consumer decision process. Not only do consumers use peer reviews; those who do spend more money. According to eMarketer:

Some 27% of the respondents who read customer reviews reported average spending between 5% and 10% higher than those who did not read them. Another 21% of review readers reported average spending between 1% and 5% higher than that of non-readers. Nearly 7% of respondents who said they read customer reviews reported average spending 20% higher than other online shoppers. (Newsletter, December 4, 2007)


A few days ago eMarketer reported on a study that should reduce—if not eliminate—manager’s worst fears. They worry that customers will say negative things. While I can, and do, argue that negatives should be heard (and acted on!), that’s another issue. This data comes from BaazarVoice, a company that helps retailers with social media applications. They analyzed their data for a single month, and found most reviews positive. If this was a five-point scale, 36% were “Always” and 51% were “Most of the Time.” That’s 87% in the top 2 boxes. That’s amazing! That’s huge! The main reason for writing the reviews (90%) was to help other customers.
That’s nice of them, but, given this data, it would behoove retailers to be proactive about reviews. I referenced ShopNBC in the earlier post. Amazon recently asked me to review purchases, see the email above. Since these are automated messages, it doesn’t cost the retailers much, and the results may be significant!
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