About a year ago ago we conducted the first U.S. study on product reviewers to understand who they are and what motivates them to write reviews. In that study we found that 90% of customers write reviews to ‘help others’.

This year we conducted similar research with Keller Fay in the UK. We found – believe it or not – similar results! We conducted a post-review intercept survey across several Bazaarvoice retail clients and found that Brits are driven by altruism when they write product reviews. We surveyed almost 3,800 Brits who wrote reviews on online e-commerce sites, and 94% of them said it was important to write reviews to help other consumers make good purchase decisions.

And their altruism doesn’t end with consumers; 82% of those surveyed said they wrote reviews to help companies make better decisions about the products they offer.

Also, most UK reviews are positive – 86% of UK reviewers said they left positive feedback online, and 11% said their comments were equally split between positive and negative. This reflects what we continue to find in the ratings J-Curve, which we discovered in 2006.

> See the press release here

> Download the full study results here

6 Responses to “94% of UK customers write reviews to help fellow shoppers”

  1. Brett Hurt

    Chris,

    You raise a great point. It isn’t just the rating score, it is the content itself. Unlike a testimonial, what makes a 5-star review feel authentic is a negative, or constructive, comment. For example, L.L.Bean recently shared at the Shop.org Annual Summit that they had a product with all 5-star ratings. So what could they do about it? Did it drive additional conversion? Yes. But what else? In analyzing the reviews, they found that customers were often writing comments like “I really wish it came in these additional colors”. So, they produced 3 additional colors, increased the SKUs, and sales took off.

    Best,
    Brett

  2. Brett Hurt

    Chris,

    You raise a great point. It isn’t just the rating score, it is the content itself. Unlike a testimonial, what makes a 5-star review feel authentic is a negative, or constructive, comment. For example, L.L.Bean recently shared at the Shop.org Annual Summit that they had a product with all 5-star ratings. So what could they do about it? Did it drive additional conversion? Yes. But what else? In analyzing the reviews, they found that customers were often writing comments like “I really wish it came in these additional colors”. So, they produced 3 additional colors, increased the SKUs, and sales took off.

    Best,
    Brett

  3. Interesting findings. But I think it would be interesting to actually understand the content of their reviews–from both this study and your notion of the J-curve. In some recent work with major enterprises in this area I’ve found that “high raters”, the 4’s and 5’s in your rating curve, very often have critical comments. In other words, the substance of review comments if truly analyzed, can produce a very different picture and certainly a far more informed understanding of customer/consumer mindset.

  4. Interesting findings. But I think it would be interesting to actually understand the content of their reviews–from both this study and your notion of the J-curve. In some recent work with major enterprises in this area I’ve found that “high raters”, the 4’s and 5’s in your rating curve, very often have critical comments. In other words, the substance of review comments if truly analyzed, can produce a very different picture and certainly a far more informed understanding of customer/consumer mindset.

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