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Customer Reviews Drive Web Sales

Letting customers write product reviews increases e-commerce conversion rates, Web traffic and average order values, according to e-consultancy and Bazaarvoice’s “Social Commerce Report 2007” report (via eMarketer).

 Some interesting data points:

  • Online consumer reviews mattered most in complex and high-ticket categories such as automotive (19 percent) and consumer electronics (17 percent).
  • 28 percent of online sellers were using customer ratings and reviews. More than half said they were considering it.
  • More than half of all online sellers considered user-generated content either extremely important or very important to company strategy over the next year.

When electronics shopping, 39 percent of consumers start at an Internet search portal and 31 percent start at a manufacturer’s Web site.

Given the propensity for customer reviews to sway sales, it seems like there’s a lot of room for mischief making.