UK retailers losing sales through lack of ratings and customer reviews
New research has showed just how important ratings and reviews are for customers when it comes to making purchasing decisions, with nearly two thirds of UK consumers reading reviews from other customers before buying a product.
Some retailers understand that product ratings and customer reviews are an essential part of the online shopping experience, but a report from Fresh Relevance, a real-time personalisation platform, has found that only 20% of UK fashion retailers have incorporated these features.
This is based on a consumer survey conducted by One Poll and analysis of the social proof tactics undertaken by 50 leading UK retailers.
The study found that 46% of shoppers will extensively research products and compare options ahead of purchasing, and 37% of shoppers read between three and four reviews before they make a final decision to buy.
“As consumers’ shopping habits move steadily online, and they are less able to touch and try items as they would in store, shoppers are more reliant on the feedback and recommendations of their peers,” said Mike Austin, CEO & co-founder of Fresh Relevance.
“For fashion and footwear brands in particular, the consumer desire for reassurance that the item will look and fit as displayed is high. Implementing reviews and ratings can have a significant impact on a retailer’s performance. Not only could high return rates be reduced by providing this additional information, but customer reviews can also deliver valuable insights that can inform the design of future collections that hit the mark with customers again and again.”
Beauty brands are leading the way in meeting customer expectations, with 100% of brands surveyed providing ratings and reviews information. There seems to be also a high adoption among jewellery, accessories and electronic brands (60%) while just half of footwear brands have joined the trend.
Meanwhile, just 4% of retailers have included ratings and reviews in email newsletters, new data showed.
“In email marketing specifically, we uncovered significant untapped revenue potential. With inboxes overflowing, brands have a limited opportunity to capture recipients’ attention. Since consumers rank ratings and reviews as key parts of the decision-making process, retailers across all verticals could be leaving potential buyers behind by omitting this information from bulk and triggered emails,” Mike Austin commented.
“This doesn’t have to require a lot of manual work - marketers can easily incorporate reviews in emails by automatically pulling customer feedback from a trusted ratings and reviews provider or inhouse solution. On average, brands that harness the power of social proof in their emails will see a revenue uplift of 39%.”
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