A new report reveals how clients’ reviews and star ratings - used by many online estate agents in particular - are increasingly powerful in driving leads in a growing volume of retail business.
The report, called Assessing The Impact Of Ratings and Reviews on eCommerce Performance, is written by Keith Anderson of Profitero, an American e-business analytics consultancy.
The 16-page document focusses on the performance of US retail business in general but uses as a case study Amazon in the UK as well as in America. In the light of debate over the role played by consumer reviews in British estate agency - with those on Purplebricks, Trustpilot and allAgents generating industry controversy - it makes interesting reading.
It suggests that sales performance is directly linked to the number of online reviews a product displays.
“The best-selling products in a category - those in the top 10 - each tend to have more reviews than products among the top 100 in the category as a whole – many with double or triple the number of reviews” says Anderson in the report.
The analysis of Amazon shows that trend holding good on the website both in the US and in the UK.
Interestingly, businesses that do not feature consumer reviews on their website appear to at least risk losing customers to rival operators who do feature reviews.
The document cites research which shows that over 45 per cent of shoppers in the US check with a search engine for reviews if the company or brand doesn’t carry reviews of its own. Around 20 per cent went to a rival, as a result.
Given current arguments over star ratings on some UK online agency sites, Profitero’s research finds that on US Amazon the best performing sellers - in terms of volume of business backed by reviews - generated star ratings of 4.2 to 4.6, and not the ‘perfect’ 5.0.
This may not be directly applicable to the UK or to the estate agency business, but with reviews becoming increasingly common for all kinds of agents, this may be a thought provoking read - the report is here.
On some devices you may have to first register with Profitero, which you can do here.