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The vast majority of product reviews left by consumers on websites are positive, while most of the reviewers are motivated by the desire to help others make better purchase decisions.

That's the verdict of a Keller Fay Group / Bazaarvoice report, which surveyed 1,300 US online reviewers.

  • Who leaves reviews?
    The study found that reviewers were likely to be active internet users, with 77% sending ten or more emails every day, 25% active on social networks, and 20% leaving comments on blogs and forums.
  • What motivates them?
    For 90%, the motivation was to help inform others’ purchase decisions. 70% wanted to help retailers improve their product ranges, while 79% wrote reviews to reward companies.
  • Reviews are normally positive
    Bazaarvoice has previously found that the average rating in online reviews is 4.3 out of 5, and 87% of reviews left by the survey group were generally positive.
  • Reviews mainly left on retailers' sites
    Consumers are more likely to post reviews directly onto a retailer’s site than on independent review sites, while 65% post reviews of product they purchase offline.

According to Bazaarvoice CEO Brett Hurt, companies need not be scared of allowing customer feedback on their sites:

"This debunks a major myth about word of mouth and should encourage companies and chief marketing officers to be more comfortable with 'letting go' and inviting consumers to talk about their experiences."

In E-consultancy's recent Social Commerce Report, we found that more retailers are wising up to the benefits of adopting ratings and reviews.

While reviews are only being used by 28% of the UK's online retailers, more than half are considering adding this feature to their websites.

Go reviewers, GO!

Related stories:
Online review authenticity - do we really have a problem?
Reevoo calls for policing of online reviews 

Graham Charlton

Published 6 December, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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