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How much do product reviews impact purchase intent?

 

Any marketplace seller knows that reviews play an integral part in maintaining a successful business, but how much do reviews actually influence a new customer’s decision to purchase a product?

 

 

 

We recently conducted a study of 500 Australian adults, which found that 28% prioritise looking at reviews before buying a product. In addition, 35% place the most emphasis on the number of positive reviews before committing to a purchase.

 

Which products are most impacted by positive reviews?

Broadly1 suggests that the retail and eCommerce industry is the most impacted by reviews. Customers on average spend 31% more with an eCommerce business that has generally higher reviews than a competitor.

According to YouGov2, when it comes to brand categories, mobile phone* and operator brands see the greatest correlation between positive recommendations and purchase intent. 

On the other hand, categories such as domestic appliances and online services (including websites and apps) see the lowest correlation.

 

How important are star ratings?  

Our study shows that 31% of consumers do focus on the star rating of a product, whilst 17% look mainly at negative reviews. 

In terms of a product’s star rating, 35% said they wouldn’t purchase a product with a rating of less than four out of five stars, and 21% of consumers would only purchase a product with five-star reviews. 

 

How much will people spend before consulting customer reviews?  

43% of buyers will always consult reviews, regardless of the product price. Additionally, for 21% of people, the minimum price required for them to consult reviews is $1-$50.

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Who is most likely to look at reviews? 

Women value reviews more than men, with 54% of female shoppers saying that customer feedback impacts where they buy from, compared to 45% of men. Additionally, women are 16% more likely to always check reviews regardless of price than men (58% vs 42%).

In terms of age, younger generations place the most value on reviews, with Millennials (25-34) being the most likely age bracket to use them to inform their decisions (27%), closely followed by Generation Z (19%).

In comparison, over 65s (8%) are the least likely to choose their product based on reviews. 

Kate Colclough, EMEA marketing director at WorldFirst, said: “Reviews are an incredibly important part of the buying experience for consumers, and it’s clear that large numbers of customers value positive reviews to inform their buying decisions.

“This means that it’s vital for businesses to ensure that the customer experience is positive, providing a good quality service and good quality products. Positive feedback means consumers are more likely to return to you, and more likely to leave a good review, which will in turn help to attract new customers and increase business traffic.

“With this in mind, why not remind your customers to leave a review at the point of purchase, or follow up with an email requesting that they rate the product or experience? If you’re confident your customers are satisfied, a gentle nudge to give you a shoutout could go a long way!”

Statistics Summary:

  • 35% of purchasers in Australia find 4 stars to be the lowest product rating. 
  • In the retail industry, online shoppers spend approximately 31% more on businesses that are reviewed higher than their competitors.
  • Over a third of online shoppers look at the star rating of a product. Conversely, only 17% look at negative reviews.
  • 35% of people wouldn’t purchase a product with a rating of less than four out of five stars, and only 21% would purchase a product with five-star reviews
  • Product price has little impact on buying decisions as 43% of buyers will always consult reviews, regardless of the price.
  • A fifth of buyers say a minimum price range of $1 – $50 is required for them to consult reviews.
  • Buying decision differs in gender with women being 16% more likely to always check reviews regardless of price than men.
  • 27% of Millennials (25-34) factor product reviews in their buying decision. This is followed by Gen Z and over 65s at 19% and 8%, respectively.

References:
[1] Broadly Online Reviews Statistics
[2] YouGov BrandIndex research

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