Don't Fear Negative Reviews

Data released Monday as part of a PowerReviews survey of more than 6,500 consumers surveyed in April shows negative reviews are an important tool for shoppers because they demonstrate to consumers that a brand can and will make things right. The study found that:

  • 96% of consumers specifically look for negative reviews at least sometimes, up from 85% in 2018, and 82% in 2014
  • 52% of shoppers specifically seek out one-star reviews, and the number is even higher — 60% — among Millennials
  • 46% of shoppers are suspicious of products with an average star rating of five out of five — a number higher among Gen Z shoppers, at 53%, and 40% of Baby Boomers.

Nearly all consumers read reviews before making a purchase or trying a new product. In fact, 57% read reviews while shopping in a physical store, and some 77% of consumers say the average star rating is an element they consider when reading reviews, while 52% don’t trust star ratings without accompanying review content.



Ratings and reviews have become a unique strategic tactic to help build brand trust and authenticity for consumers, according to Andrew Smith, vice president of marketing at PowerReviews. He believes genuine and authentic customer feedback is vital in order to earn consumer trust and demonstrate transparency among today’s shoppers.

Recent analysis by Power Reviews found when it comes to the impact of user-generated features, 62.4% of shoppers that interact with the star-filter feature on a review display specifically filter to read only one-star content. And shoppers who do so still convert at a rate that is 108.8% higher than the average page visitor.

The moral of the story, PowerReviews says, is to resist the temptation to delete negative reviews and find ways to do a better job at whatever consumers believe the brand or company lacks. Displaying negative reviews says the brand/company has nothing to hide.

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