Why do the vast majority Customers Look for Negative Online Reviews?

While analyzing customer experiences from two online retailers that sell cheaper products along with one retailer of high-end gifts, Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center and e-commerce solutions provider, Power Reviews, found that many times, even negative online reviews can be helpful for online retailers. It has been found that conversion rates rise by as much as 270% for retailers who display online reviews; such retailers are also able to sell more higher-priced.

This isn’t the first time that negative reviews have shown such amazing outcomes for retailers. PowerReviews, in one of their earlier research exercises, found that 82% of shoppers look for negative reviews.

In fact, consumers to spend 400% more time on websites looking for and reading up negative reviews, which actually boost conversion rates by 67% according to social commerce specialist Revoo. What could be the apparent reason for this astonishing outcome? Well, it is second nature for consumers to be discernable realists and ratings like five on five stars for a product appear “too good to be true” for most customers. Such reviews don’t reveal much about the product anyway. It is the negative reviews that really review a product from different perspectives and they generally live up to what they say about a product. How else can they boost conversion by 67%?

The study by Spiegel and PowerReviews found that negative reviews increase the likelihood of readers making a purchase and products with average ratings between 4.0 and 4.7 on a scale of five are the ones that are most likely to be bought. This is far better than five on five rating because it leaves space for what is known as the scope for improvement. That’s a lot more rational than the ‘5 gun salute’ because it helps keep average ratings down. Ratings between 4.0 and 4.7 also mean that the reviewer thinks the product to be optimum and not necessarily premium. Most consumers are generally happy with an optimum product that meets both their budget and expectations to a large extent.

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