Yesterday's eMarketer Daily linked to a research article titled "Cashing In on Consumer Product Reviews" that summarized stats on the use and influence of user-generated product reviews from a few different research reports.  Here are the highlights:

  • Avenue A | Razorfish reports in their "Digital Consumer Behavior Study" that 55% of surveyed Internet users check other people's opinions online when researching products, topping product comparison charts (22%), expert reviews (21%), and shared shopping lists (1%).  If you are currently evaluating site feature investments for 2008 and beyond, get your hands on this report and read more about why you should invest in ratings and reviews. 
  • Internet Retailer reports in "Web Site Design, Content and Rich Media" that consumers that read product reviews are likely to spend more online.  The largest group of surveyed users, 27.1%, reported spending 5-10% more, while almost 7% reported spending 20%+ more!  Need a business case for reviews?  Do the back of the napkin math for your business.  For a $25MM online retailer, if 7% of buyers spent 20% more, a reviews solution would pay for itself multiple times and easily fund investments in other site features.  
  • Deloitte & Touche USA reports on the influence of reviews on purchase decisions by category.  Every listed category shows significant influence, from electronics (45% of respondents influenced) down to motor vehicles (13%, the lowest, but still significant).

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