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Product and service reviews can be a very powerful tool for boosting sales and increasing trust, but can they every hurt your business? Top web development companies have understood the power of reviews for years and current surveys from numerous companies have shown a positive correlation between reviews and both increased trust and sales. From that combination of experience and data we have gleaned that reviews can boost conversions, but only if they are real.

Let’s discuss why!

How do reviews boost conversions?

Multiple surveys have been conducted with consumers to determine what aspect makes them trust an online business. Typically customer reviews rate as one of the top if not the top aspect with anywhere from 25% to 40% of consumers selecting it depending on the survey.

According to a BrightLocal online survey from 2016 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendation.

Secure browsing or feeling satisfied with the security measures is generally the next highest factor followed by website appearance, ease of contacting the business and then current content.

Trust is a critical conversion factor online because if people don’t trust your business then they are unlikely to start a transaction.

Additionally, conversion surveys have found that product and customer reviews have an impact on conversion rates. Companies like Amazon have understood that idea for many years which is why they have such a good review system and are constantly following up with customers to obtain feedback and reviews.

Reviews provide customers with additional data including information about the entire experience, product reviews after use, problems and more. That data is pure gold, assuming you provide quality services or are selling good products, because it comes from someone other than you which is the reason people like to see them.

Too much of a good thing

However there is a drawback with reviews; too much of a good thing. Generally speaking humans are a bit jaded and get concerned when something seems too good to be true. Yes, there are still some people out there who might believe that a Nigerian prince does really need help with moving his money to the U.S., but many consumers are skeptical about too much of a good thing.

Over 30% of consumers get concerned if a product only has good reviews. This triggers concerns over either censorship of reviews to remove bad ones or that the site is posting fake positive reviews.

Now while too many bad reviews will hurt your business, having a reasonable number will not. Interaction analysis has shown that consumers stay on a website longer if a site has some bad reviews along with good ones while sites with only good reviews have less time spent and a lower conversion rate. According to Reevoo, 68% of people trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores.

The power of authenticity

The conclusion we can draw from these various surveys and webpage analytics is that real reviews offer authenticity to a site. People expect to hear at least the occasional bad word about something because very rarely is anything uniformly loved when it comes to products or services. Across the board positive reviews seem suspicious and reduce trust because they simply seem unauthentic.

The bottom line is that if you have a business with quality products or services that you are proud of then you should be regularly encouraging customers to provide you with reviews. Reviews can boost conversions, but only if real so make sure to allow both the good and the bad to post. By doing so your business will benefit from the reaction other consumers have to your authenticity.

This article was originally published in 26 May 2017. It was most recently updated in November 28, 2022 by

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