Online Shoppers Read Several Reviews

Friday, February 22, 2008 by Mistlee

Online Shoppers Read Several Reviews

By Jordan McCollum

User reviews are all the rage in online retail. And now a recent study shows that online shoppers typically read multiple reviews before making a purchase online.

Research by PowerReviews and the e-tailing group shows that 68% of online shoppers read 4 or more reviews before making a purchase. MediaPost's Tameka Kee reports:

The companies surveyed 1,200 consumers who shopped online at least four times per year and spent at least $500 in aggregate-finding that almost a quarter of the respondents checked at least eight reviews or more before deciding to buy.

Some 22% of respondents said that they "always" read reviews before making a purchase, while the majority (43%) said they checked ratings and reviews "most of the time." In contrast, just 2% of the online shoppers surveyed said that they "never" read reviews in advance.

What might this mean for you? If you haven't already, you might want to seriously consider adding customer reviews. 64% of consumers surveyed by Forrester Research wanted to see user reviews and ratings on websites-more than wanted coupons or deals, or personalization. If they don't reviews on your site, customers will probably look for them elsewhere-and may end up buying your product elsewhere.

To streamline users' shopping, you might also consider designing a layout where customers can see multiple reviews on the product screen. Although their product pages are ridiculously long, has a nice section for reviews: (click to enlarge)

Customer reviews at

In this example, there are six reviews visible in a single screen, while there are more than a dozen reviews visible on the page, as well as a summary of the customer ratings and a search box to search customers' reviews.

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