How Exactly Product Reviews Can Help (and hurt) Your E-Commerce Business

Michael MicheliniBlog, Business1 Comment

Trust and Credibility in Ecommerce

These days, consumers are struggling with making purchases online brought about by the exposure to false information with common cases like tricky advertisements in television and even online that leads to mistrust. It makes consumers complicated on their decision – makings.

On the other hand, online entrepreneurs consider “credibility” as a huge factor for their business. It’s no surprise that they would think such given their revenues greatly depends on the trust of their buyers. Thus, they are faced with the challenge in making their products and services attractive and equitable.

Trust and credibility have been both essential nature for Ecommerce so much that the issue presented can be remedied by product reviews.

Why Do Product Reviews

In the current setting of Ecommerce, product reviews are very visible throughout the industry. Many studies have shown the essential impact of such through statistics. The following are some major evidence as to why some online entrepreneurs would adhere to product reviews:

  • For every 50 and more reviews can result to an increase of conversion rates by 4.6%, according to Revoo stats.
  • Visitors in site interacting with both reviews and customer questions and answers are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with UGC. (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).
  • 63% of customers are more likely to make transaction online with reviews present. (iPerceptions, 2011).
  • reviews can raise sales by 18%, according to Revoo stats.
  • Consumer reviews are 12 times more trusted rather than the product description published by the entrepreneurs. (eMarketer, February 2010).

Now let us see in detail how exactly product reviews can help the Ecommerce business.

Benefits of Product Reviews


  • Improving customer experience

Reviews can help in narrowing down the specific product that potential buyers are trying to look for. For some, their fears are taken out of them once they read the comments from users who purchased the product leading to wise decisions. They will tend to consider other alternatives and filter to what they’re looking for just by being informed from the reviews.


  • Raise conversions

One goal for the online entrepreneurs is to improve the ratio of people who buy to the total number of people who visit. With pleasing reviews on your products, there’s a big possibility for your visitors to transform into buyers. The more buyers for a specific product gives a strong implication on a well-established trust and confidence resulting to increases in conversion rate.

This can be a great advantage compared with other online entrepreneurs who don’t utilize product reviews.


  • Increase sales and reduce returns or complaints

More buyers would increase your revenues or sales and could build good buyer-seller relationship. Your loyal buyers can help through word of mouth as people tend to believe recommendations which came from their family, friends, and even colleagues. Word of mouth can be key to increase profit.

Also, having product reviews minimize the chances of possible returns given buyers are oriented with possible distortions of a product before purchasing. Hence, it can reduce the costs associated with return processes.


  • Improvements on search engine results ranking

During the generation of ranking results, search engines take the number of appearances of business name into account which can only be increased through reviews containing the corresponding business name. Simply, more reviews improve results ranking.

While many Ecommerce sites use the traditional descriptions and product specifications, user-generated content can distinguish a product page in the search results which is friendlier to the customers. Plus, this raise the chance of being on top in the Search Engine Results Page.

With reviews, potential buyers can easily search using the ‘product name’ plus ‘review’ in the search bar as well as increasing the chance of ranking for long tail searches and keywords.

Apart from the benefits of product reviews mentioned above, let’s now have a look on how it could impose harm to online entrepreneurs.

Cons of Product reviews


  • Threat of Negative reviews

A negative review can influence the decision of a potential buyer in pursuing their decision and would consider other online entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, most people only remember the bad things that occur. With that said, unsatisfied customers are even more likely to post and inflict damaging comments making it less attractive.

Its best practice to respond negative reviews with empathy and giving the assurance that solution will be available and improvements and suggestions are acknowledged.

  • Maintaining reviews.

Reviews need extra time for it to be maintained real time. Otherwise, it will be futile and may not be attractive for potential buyers.


  • Additional Cost for third-party review sites.

There will be charges in availing third-party review sites so one should be critical on availing this if it should be worth incurring such costs. It is also important to know that dissatisfied buyers can still post devastating comments which can still harm the business.

Negative reviews can be good though

Most online entrepreneurs will be anxious seeing negative reviews giving them the fear of having a bad reputation given their existing positive feedbacks. Though, it should not be worried that much as negative reviews will neutralize the credibility of the product for interested buyers. Missing negative reviews creates a doubtful opinion from the potential buyers making them indecisive to pursue their transaction. In fact, a study by Reevoo discovered that 68% of customers trust reviews and the company more if they include both positive and negative reviews. Moreover, 30% suspected unreal reviews or censorship when negative comments are not present. Though buyers want to look for the most perfect product, they have this light expectation that everything may not be the same as what they expect for. However, online entrepreneurs should be keen when negative reviews exceed the positive ones.

Negative reviews are still considered as feedback and its one way to listen to your customers. Acknowledging these can improve the success of the business as a whole by rebuilding brand equity, gaining trust and adding credibility to the offerings.



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