ecommerce reviews

Ecommerce Reviews - How much do recommendations influence trends?


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As brands look to become more and more customer-centric, retailers are increasingly looking to bespoke ecommerce platforms to incorporate product reviews into their site.

Many products on ASOS, ROMAN and Amazon now have product reviews, where people can see how clothing fits, how powerful a hair straightener is, and get the perspective of hundreds of other people who have purchased the product, before you have to get your card details out.

Trustpilot has revealed that four in five UK consumers think that a Trustpilot score makes them more likely to trust a brand, and a similar percentage (77%) say it makes them more likely to actually make a purchase, too. Reviews are impactful - customers are three times as likely to click on an advert that has a customer review, according to Trustpilot.

But how much do reviews actually impact trends, and what industries do people find them the most useful?

In the Ecommerce Reviews Report, we have worked with Trustpilot to reveal how many consumers in each industry are active reviewers, and just how much reviews actually influence trends.

Fashion has the highest proportion of service reviews on ecommerce websites, according to Trustpilot's data. In fact, fashion and apparel is higher in volume than any other industry, with business services coming second, and home and garden, electronics and beauty joining the sectors in the top ten.

The top 10 eCommerce categories and the percent of active reviews:

  • Fashion: 13% of service reviews

  • Business Services: 12% of service reviews

  • Home and garden: 11% of service reviews

  • Money and insurance: 9% of service reviews

  • Electronics and technology: 8% of service reviews

  • Vehicles and transportation: 7% of service reviews

  • Health and medical: 6% of service reviews

  • Events and entertainment: 5% of service reviews

  • Beauty and wellbeing: 5% of service reviews

  • Travel and vacation: 4% of service reviews

Based on Trustpilot’s own data, it’s interesting to see that just 5% of beauty and wellbeing websites of service reviews. This could be in part down to social media’s dominance in the beauty industry, suggesting that more people head to TikTok, Instagram and YouTube for beauty advice over ecommerce websites.

With an influx of consumer products in clothing, beauty and electronics, how much do product reviews actually influence customer decisions?

The impact of product reviews on search

To understand just how impactful reviews can be on what we search and purchase, we took a sample of products from three core ecommerce industries - fashion and apparel, electronics and technology, and health and beauty.

We used Google’s shopping function, which pulls through product reviews from hundreds of sites, to analyse thousands of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-star reviews for each product. We then came up with a percentage score for each product which determined the volume of ratings that were 4-stars and above for each item.

To understand if there is any correlation between reviews and search trends, we used Google Keyword Planner to look at the number of searches for each product over the last 12 months, to see how influential reviews could actually be.

Electronics

Consumer reviews are a powerful tool in the electronics industry. Technology products and gadgets can often be a major investment for some people, costing hundreds of pounds at a time. Reviews can be the switch that encourages someone to make a purchase - or close the tab without converting.

  • Remarkable analysed 6,724 product reviews on Google, and over 714,000 monthly searches of 25 popular electronic products. The results revealed:

  • The items that had over 90% of 4-star ratings saw a search growth on Google of 248% in the last year.

  • Yet products that had fewer than 85% of 4-star ratings saw an increase in Google searches of just 16%, highlighting that consumers looking for electronics don’t want to risk compromising on quality.

TrustPilot found:

  • Electronic and ecommerce sites make up 8% of service reviews on its platform.

  • Consumers found reviews for electronics more useful than any other ecommerce industry with 89% of customers saying they find them helpful when influencing their decision to buy.

Fashion and apparel

The fashion industry uses reviews as an online word of mouth tool, to share how clothing fits, if the colour is similar to what is advertised, and the quality of the material. Consumers can have a general consensus on the quality of the apparel item before they even click ‘add to basket’. Online fashion, while convenient to order, doesn’t give you the benefit of being able to try it on, so ecommerce reviews can be a massive boon to customers.

Remarkable analysed 7,308 product reviews and over 452,940 monthly searches of 25 popular fashion items to find:

  • Of the items that had over 90% of 4-star ratings, there was a 34% increase in Google searches from people searching for the specific items over the last three months. Annually, this figure dropped slightly to 20%.

  • Lower-scored reviews still had an impact overall on yearly demand, with products with 80% or fewer 4-star ratings seeing a 30% yearly increase in search demand.

  • Consumers do appear to be more likely to review a fashion item they’re happy with, with an average 4 star review of 91% on items with over 400 reviews, compared to 82.3% on items with fewer than 200 reviews.

TrustPilot found:

  • Fashion businesses make up 13% of service reviews on its platform

  • 82% of fashion consumers find ratings and reviews useful.

Health and beauty

Beauty products can now go viral, with foundations, perfumes and soaps having fifteen minutes of social media fame if the right person shares the product and its impact on their skin. But when there’s often fewer visual cues online, how do ecommerce product reviews compare to social media?

Most websites don’t allow you to return an opened beauty product, so if you purchase it and it’s not suitable for you, many customers are left out of pocket.

  • Remarkable analysed 7,246 Google reviews and over 250,000 searches of 25 popular health and beauty products to reveal:

  • Products seem to have less overall impact on search demand in the beauty space, with a growth of just 9% in searches for those with a 4 and 5-star search rating of over 90%.

  • Positive reviews are more common in beauty, with just three items from the sample having a score of below 90%.

TrustPilot revealed:

  • Beauty and wellbeing businesses make up just 5% of service reviews on its platform.

  • 87% of consumers said that ratings were useful for health and beauty.


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Methodology

To create the 2022 Digital Retail Index, Remarkable looked at the retailers listed on the Internet Retailing Top 500. Remarkable then compared each site based on five core metrics, using Google Lighthouse to create an unbiased view of the top UK eCommerce websites. These four metrics are performance and speed, progressive web app validation, accessibility, best practices and SEO.

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