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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 23, 2009

RatePoint: Reviews on websites increase traffic, trust and sales

Many consumers have their purchasing decisions affected by reviews they read online and online small businesses are seeing significant returns as a result of adding reviews to their websites.

by Helen Leggatt

A new survey from RatePoint found that, of the 30% of online retailers who featured product reviews on their website, 43% experienced more sales and 28% said they had received more traffic.

"Research clearly shows that peer reviews increase consumer trust when shopping online," said Neal Creighton, CEO of RatePoint. "Small businesses who have implemented reviews on their site are uniquely positioned to stand apart this holiday season as shoppers look to transact with sites and brands they can trust."

However, many online retailers are afraid to add reviews due to fears that they will do more harm than good to their reputation. Past research has found they have little to fear. On the whole, consumers are driven to post reviews by a sense of goodwill or altruism and savvy consumers that research and compare products online are able to sift through positive and negative reviews to reach their own conclusions.

At the end of the day, consumers expect transparency and dialogue, and retailers need feedback - good and bad. Encouraging reviews is a win-win situation whereas omitting the function altogether could do more harm than good. If consumers are going to talk about your brand, and no doubt there will be a conversation going on somewhere, where better than on your own turf?

Tags: customer feedback, e-commerce, online reviews, online sales, online shopping, online traffic, social marketing

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  • Andrew

    It's been my experience that if you leave a 1 point review for a business and ratepoint accept it, the business will dispute it and ratepoint will remove it.

    So my rating of ratepoint is for consumers, you lose out if the business disagrees so ratepoint are pointless. After all, the business pays for their 'ratings'.

  • Tyson

    Good stuff.

    I'm wondering if you have any citations of the "past research" that's mentioned throughout the article?




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