More customer reviews of a product could boost sales of that item, according to a new study from customer ratings and reviews firm Bazaarvoice Inc.
The study, called the Conversation Index Volume 8 and based on Bazaarvoice customer data from more than 57 million reviews and 35 billion product page views, reveals a direct link between the number of online reviews for a product and its sales.
Adding just one review to a product page results in a 10% increase in orders, the study finds. That increase jumps to 25% when a product goes from zero to 30 reviews, and those that go from 0 to 100 reviews experience a 37% lift in orders.
Moreover, on average, product page visitors who interact with customer reviews convert at a 58% higher rate compared to those who do not, the report finds. Revenue per visit jumps 62% and average order value increases 3%.
One reason why customer reviews increase sales of a product is that Google Inc.’s search engine algorithm favors web pages with lots of content that is refreshed on a regular basis. Bazaarvoice says its clients typically see a 15% to 25% increase in search traffic to a product page when customer reviews are added. “Search engines reward sites that stay fresh with valuable, relevant content—so from an SEO perspective, more is better,” the report reads.
Eight customer reviews, for example, could add about 800 words of diverse user-generated content to a product page, which Google would generally rank higher than a site with fewer product-specific words. “And don’t forget the keyword benefits of site content written by consumers themselves, who use the same language (and misspellings) as their peers on search engines,” Bazaarvoice says.
Bazaarvoice is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Leading Vendors to the Top 1000, which ranks e-commerce technology suppliers on the number of e-retail clients they have in the Top 500 Guide and Second 500 Guide, and the collective web sales those clients represent.
The company has 288 clients in the Top 1000, which collectively drove $121.7 billion in online sales in 2013.