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Online reviews are making a direct impact on purchase decisions – not just for consumers who are making service-based transactions (eating in restaurants, checking into hotels), but also for those who are searching and shopping online for specific products.

In a new study called “Conversation Index Volume 8,” results show that product page visitors who read and interact with online reviews convert at a 58 percent higher rate than those who don’t. This suggests that an increase in the quantity of product reviews can be an important factor in boosting sales and performance.

The Bazaarvoice study, which is based on more than 57 million reviews and 35 billion product page views, also reveals that adding one online review to a product page could result in a 10 percent increase in orders. Meanwhile, when a product goes from having zero reviews to having 30 reviews, it could result to a 25 percent increase in orders; and those that add 100 reviews can experience up to a 37 percent increase in orders.

That’s why product-based brands and businesses in the retail sector are already leveraging the power of reviews – the beauty sector being one of the most notable examples.

Here are other highlights from the new study:

  • Shoppers who read and interact with product reviews reflect an increase of 62 percent in revenue per visit.
  • The average order value increases to 3 percent when shoppers engage with product reviews.
  • When online reviews are added to a product page, the brand or business typically sees an increase in search traffic, ranging from 15 percent to 25 percent.
  • According to the study, 8 reviews can add about 800 words of diverse user-generated content (UGC) to a page, which search engines like Google would rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) than a page with fewer, less diverse product-specific content.

The latest research reaffirms findings last year by the Chicago-based e-tailing group, which found that more and more retailers and brands are embracing reviews to fuel sales. According to the group, 73 percent are already keeping an eye on – and managing – their customer reviews as part of their social media marketing strategy, and 18 percent are making “significant” investments to generate new reviews and other kinds of user-generated content.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

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