Loyalty With a Little Help from Some Friends
By John Hennessy, Vice President, Concept Shopping, Inc.
If your definition of loyalty includes shoppers selecting you over the competition, then you should make sure your online store includes product ratings and reviews.
Customer experience consulting firm eVOC Insights conducted a survey where shoppers were 63 percent more like to purchase from a site if it offers ratings and reviews. The sites used for the survey were Amazon.com, Best Buy.com, CircuitCity.com and Walmart.com. Of these, Amazon.com and CircuitCity.com offer product ratings and reviews.
Other factors shoppers used to determine which site to purchase from include (in order of importance):
- Competitive Prices
- Detailed Product Descriptions
- Ease of Use
- Good Customer Service
Moderator’s Comment: What services can online and other consumer-direct retailers offer to increase the likelihood that shoppers will purchase from their
I was amazed that Walmart.com and BestBuy.com don’t offer product ratings and reviews, which I confirmed by visiting both their sites. I guess I’ve gotten
spoiled relying on and purchasing from sites that do.
Ratings and reviews help shoppers make a final purchase decision. Risk is reduced. Encouragement from advocates is rampant. The decision to buy gets a lot
easier. The reviews may cause shoppers to change their final choice from one brand to another but, for a retailer, the reviews move shoppers from cautious researchers to confident
buyers. That’s powerful.
Not covered in this survey but well known to direct mailers is the benefit of giving someone something for free. Ratings and reviews are not calendars or
mailing labels but they are something of value that is free to prospective customers. That those prospects choose to buy more often from sites offering ratings and reviews should
surprise no one. – John Hennessy – Moderator