Social commerce company Reevoo has released research that suggests bad reviews are good for business.

The company found that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all.

Not only this, but shoppers who go out of their way to read bad reviews convert 67% more than the average consumer.

Reevoo CEO and founder Richard Anson said that though this may seem counter-intuitive, negative user-generated content is actually one of the most effective conversion tools. 

This is because shoppers who seek out bad reviews are highly engaged with their pre-purchase research, viewing almost four times as many products as the average visitor to a site, and staying considerably longer.

The company discovered that three times as many consumers actively seek out and read negative user-generated content as look for positive content: negative reviews are even more popular than ‘most recent reviews’, or ‘reviews from people like me’.  

Figures quoted are from data collected across Reevoo’s network of 150 UK and international partners and from Reevoo.com, the company’s consumer website, as well as from independent consumer surveys.

The results contrast with a study last year, which found that reading between one and three negative reviews would deter the majority of customers, though much depends on whether there are any good reviews to outweight the bad.