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Consumer reviews are very valuable, both for the sites displaying them and the customers using them to help with their purchase decisions.
However, the credibility of reviews has come under attack over the past couple of years, with lots of examples there are plenty of examples of brands that have been caught out.
As it stands, online customers tend to trust reviews more than most sources, except recommendations from family and friends, but that could change.
Reevoo has just published a plea to Amazon, asking for the online retail giant to ditch all but its verified reviews.
So, should Amazon heed this plea?
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking whether online reviews could work in an offline setting, and the consensus was that this could be a useful tactic.
To find out more, I spoke to Kia's John Bache, as well as Reevoo's CEO Richard Anson to find out more.
Kia has been using Reevoo reviews in its print and TV ads, as well as in its showrooms. It has worked well so far, and provides a lesson for other automotive brands.
Recommendations from friends are the most influential driver for UK shopping habits followed closely by consumer reviews, according to a new survey by Reevoo.
More than half of respondents (52%) said friends’ recommendations were influential, followed by consumer reviews (48%), advertising (24%) and advice from sales assistants (22%).
The survey also found that a massive 88% of consumers ‘sometimes or always’ consult a review when making a purchase, and 60% were more likely to purchase from a site that has customer reviews on.
Richard Anson is the CEO and co-founder of Reevoo, which aggregates verified reviews for brands and retailers.
I've been speaking to Richard about how he fosters a culture of innovation within the company, and how he sees the development of social commerce and Reevoo's role in this.
User reviews are a well proven sales tool; there are plenty of surveys that show how important they are to customers when making a purchase decision, but what is the best way to help customers make sense of reviews?
Amazon uses the 'was this review helpful?' option to great effect, which helped users to make sense of large numbers of reviews and, according to Jared Spool, added $2.7bn to the online retail giant's bottom line.
When retailers get to a certain number of reviews on product pages (perhaps 15-20) some organisation is required to make them more meaningful to other shoppers, so how are other e-tailers handling this?
User reviews have proven to be an effective sales driver, but there is more to it than just adding them to product pages. Once you start to get large amounts of reviews you need be able to sort them in a meaningful way for customers.
Usability expert Jared Spool has a great example of how Amazon managed to solve this problem for its customers and add $2.7bn to its bottom line.
Consumer product reviews are a proven sales driver, and are a must have for online retailers, and more and more have been adding reviews to their product pages recently.
It depends on which study you read, but up to 90% of online shoppers use reviews before buying, and they can cause an uplift in conversion rates.
Having the functionality that allows users to write reviews on your website is one thing, but you need to have enough of them on your product pages to make it a more useful resource for shoppers, so how can you persuade more people to review your products?
I wrote an article about the quality of shopping comparison sites on mobile a few weeks ago, and was disappointed by the quality of most of them.
Reevoo and Kelkoo both had useful iPhone versions, and Reevoo has further improved its app by adding price information and transactional functionality, but most were less useful than they could have been.
I've been looking at another entrant into the market, Sccope, as well as talking to CEO Douglas Orr.
I looked at price comparison websites on mobile yesterday, and found many of these sites were not up to scratch, have not released versions for smartphones, or in many cases have not even developed mobile sites.
Of the five mobile shopping comparison sites I looked at, Reevoo's was one of the best, and has now improved its mobile offering by adding pricing information from retailers.
For mobile internet users shopping offline, mobile price comparison sites should provide a useful service, allowing shoppers to look up reviews and see what kind of value they are getting.
Mobile users are using their phones to access product reviews and compare prices when shopping instore, so how well do price comparison sites cater for this consumer behaviour?
25% of shoppers are using mobile phones as part of the buying process when in retail stores, using phones to compare prices and look for reviews or recommendations from friends.
A recent survey suggests that retailers have an opportunity to get more mobile users shopping instore by providing them with mobile apps and more mobile-friendly websites to allow customers to access this information to help make a purchase decision.