Retailers should include this feature on e-commerce sites to drive purchases

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Online product descriptions may be less important than retailers think.

According to the annual Shopper Experience Index from digital marketing platform Bazaarvoice, when shopping online, 56% of North American consumers said reviews were the e-commerce feature they relied on most to make informed purchase decisions faster, far ahead of product description and professional photos (16%). 

When asked what type of user-generated content (UGC) they wish they had more access to, photos from real customers was consumers’ top request. Globally, when shoppers engage with reviews on best-in-class websites, Bazaarvoice analysis finds there is a 138% lift in conversion and a 159% increase in revenue per visitor.

The index also indicates social commerce is becoming a more prevalent trend among North American consumers. In the last year, 45% of respondents said they had purchased a product through a social media platform, 41% had purchased a product an influencer had recommended, and 62% had made a purchase from a secondhand marketplace. 

Other interesting findings include:
•    Compared to other regions, North American consumers were most likely to say they had complained about a brand on social media (44%) and to have asked a brand a question across different channels, including through chat bots (36%), online Q&A features (41%), and store associates (46%).
•    89% of consumers expect to hear from a brand within 24 hours when they ask a question through social media, and almost half expect brands to improve their products based on negative reviews. 

•    Overall, 75% of shoppers said they sometimes or always trust consumer reviews, 39% said they trust a brand employees’ product recommendation, and 40% said they’ve purchased a product from an influencer because they trusted their endorsement.
•    Three out of four shoppers choose products based on brand reputation.

The index is based on data from over 6,200 brand and retailer websites in the Bazaarvoice Network, Influenster’s community of more than 6 million members, and a global survey of more than 5,500 consumers.