Positive online reviews can ‘increase search demand’ tenfold

E-commerce products with a high percentage of four and five-star reviews can see a tenfold increase in search demand across some industries, according to new research.

A report by commerce platform Remarkable Commerce and online reviews website Trustpilot analysed thousands of one, two, three, four, and five-star reviews on Google Shopping and compared the correlation between review score and the change in Google searches for various products.

The study found that consumer reviews were most influential in the electronics and technology market, with items that had the highest number of four and five-star reviews experiencing a search growth on Google of 248 per cent on average in the past 12-months.

“While our research shows differing results by industry, there’s a clear correlation between Trustpilot’s findings that consumers find electronics reviews most useful, and our discovery that some technology items may influence searches by over 200%,” said Brad Houldsworth, head of product, Remarkable Commerce. “Reviews not only help people to understand the pros and cons of a product, but they also encourage customers to look outside of the box and consider a brand or product that they might not have been familiar with before.

"For e-commerce sites, it’s no longer a situation of if you have product reviews on your site - it’s when you start to implement them.”

The figures come after an investigation by Which? that found Amazon sellers in the UK fraudulently boosting lists with reviews from unrelated items.

The consumer organisation found that nine out of 10 of the top-rated headphones on the online marketplace had “glowing reviews” for completely different products – ranging from cuddly toys and jigsaw puzzles to umbrellas.

The government has since proposed new reforms which would make it illegal to pay someone to write or host a fake review.

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