Should consumers be given incentives to write reviews?
While the presence of reviews on a site can help establish authenticity and trust among consumers, only a minority of consumers write them.
According to a survey of 800 U.S. consumers by PowerReviews, almost all shoppers — 95 percent — report consulting customer reviews, with 24 percent consulting reviews for every purchase they make.
Yet only 42 percent report leaving feedback for the products they buy. Among younger consumers (18 to 29), only 32 percent leave reviews.
Those who have written reviews also don’t do so for every product purchase. In fact, of those consumers asked to write a review post-purchase, only three to 10 percent will write a review for that specific transaction. On average, review-writing consumers will write a review once every four to 14 purchases, depending on the category, timing and other factors.
The survey found that more than half of online shoppers (57 percent) specifically look for websites with product reviews and that numerous reviews are important. While most claim they need no more than 10 reviews to guide their purchasing decision, the ideal number of reviews varied greatly — from less than 10 to more than 50, depending on the price point, product experience, level of importance and other factors.
In its study, PowerReviews said brands and retailers should streamline the process of leaving feedback to make it “quick and painless,” while considering offering incentives.
More than half (55 percent) of the consumers who aren’t writing reviews cite needing motivation to do so. Of consumers making more than $150,000, 69 percent cite the same need.
In a separate study on Centennials, PowerReviews said one way of overcoming the challenge of securing reviews is by sending samples to loyal customers in exchange for submitting online reviews. Sweepstakes, free shipping and discounts can also entice reviews. Indicating whether a reviewer received a sample or other incentive for writing a review is also recommended.
Retailers can also tailor loyalty programs to recognize and reward customers for engagement, including leaving reviews as well as interacting via social media or contributing user photos.
- The Power of Reviews – PowerReviews
- PowerReviews Study Shows Centennials Prefer to Shop In-Store, Research Online – PowerReviews
- Centennial Shopper Study (study) – PowerReviews
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should retailers provide incentives for the writing of online reviews? What type of encouragement or incentives make sense?