According to the results of the Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index from ForSee Results, and the University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index, customer product reviews online drive satisfaction and loyalty and provide a competitive advantage for sites that offer them.
Larry Freed, President and CEO, ForeSee Results, in summarizing the study, noted that "In our research, 49% of people who bought from one of the top 40 sites in the two weeks prior to the holidays remembered seeing customer product reviews. This group's satisfaction with the online shopping experience was 5% higher than for shoppers that didn't recall customer reviews. More importantly, the availability of customer product reviews drives loyalty..."
Until recently, Freed found, retail associates to share their expert opinions, answer questions and help customers decide which products meet their needs, was a part of the shopping experience missing from online retail. Now, many retail sites are taking advantage of the transparency of the web to enable customers to post opinions about products on their websites for others to read.
Behaviors And Attitudes Tied To Customer Product Reviews(100 point scale)
Customer Product Reviews Available
No Customer Product Reviews
Satisfaction with website
Satisfaction with retailer
Image of retailer
Likelihood to recommend
Likelihood to purchase online
Likelihood to purchase next holiday season
Likelihood to purchase next time
Source: ForeSee Results, January 2007
Additionally, the survey found that:
Mr. Freed concludes that "Customer satisfaction, the focus of the Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index research, is a critical performance metric for online (and offline) organizations. Academic research and corporate experience shows that satisfied customers are more loyal, more likely to engage in positive word of mouth marketing and more likely to buy in the future."
To find the complete study, please visit ForeSee Results here for the PDF file.