Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Industry Statistics Collection


Industry Statistics

There have been a number of studies spotlighting the latest in word of mouth.

Power of Word Of Mouth

  • Trust in "a person like me" has tripled, from 20% to 68% from 2004 to 2006. (Edelman Trust Barometer)
  • "Person like themselves" still most trusted source for information about a company and, therefore, products. (Edelman Trust Barometer, November 2007)
  • Recommendations from family and friends trump all other consumer touchpoints when it comes to influencing purchases, according to new data from Publicis media network ZenithOptimedia. (AdAge, April, 2008)
  • According to a global Nielsen survey of 26,486 Internet users in 47 markets, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising among 78% of the study’s respondents. (Nielsen, “Word-of-Mouth the Most Powerful Selling Tool”)
  • Most word of mouth is positive. Across all of Bazaarvoice US clients, 80% of product ratings are 4 or 5 stars out of 5. Across all of Bazaarvoice UK clients, 88% of product ratings are 4 or 5 stars out of 5. (“J Curve,” Bazaarvoice and Keller Fay)
  • Online social network users were three times more likely to trust their peers’ opinions over advertising when making purchase decisions. (“Social Networking Sites: Defining Advertising Opportunities in a Competitive Landscape,” JupiterResearch, March 2007)
  • The two leading reasons people contribute content to social shopping sites are the need to feel part of a community (31%) and recognition from peers (28%). (IBM Institute for Business Value, August 2007)
  • A consumer survey by the JC Williams Group ranked consumer content as the #1 aid to a buying decision, cited by 91% of respondents. (JC Williams Group, 2006)
  • Consumers trust friends above experts when it comes to product recommendations (65% trust friends, 27% trust experts, 8% trust celebrities). (Yankelovich)
  • 91% of moms prefer brands that other moms have recommended. (Marketing VOX, October 2006)
  • 86.9% of respondents said they would trust a friend’s recommendation over a review by a critic, while 83.8% said they would trust user reviews over a critic. (Marketing Sherpa, July 2007)
  • When asked what sources of information they are “very likely” to consult before making a decision about their entertainment options, 62% named Web sites with user reviews as their top choice, even beating out a knowledgeable friend (59%). (Marketing Sherpa, July 2007)
  • 91% of US adults regularly or occasionally seek advice about products or services. (BIGresearch)
  • Adult Internet users surveyed chose recommendations from friends as the one type of promotion they consider most worthwhile. (DoubleClick)
  • Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • Two thirds of UK social networkers (66%) are more likely to buy a product as a result of a recommendation, compared to 52 per cent of non-social networkers. (Royal Mail’s Home Shopping Tracker Study 2007)
  • Recommendation is the number one reason for choosing a particular site. (Royal Mail’s Home Shopping Tracker Study 2007)

Consumer Demand for Ratings and Reviews

  • 64% of consumers reported wanting to see user ratings and reviews, based on a study of 5,000 online shoppers. (Forrester, 2008)
  • 94% of UK online researchers use online customer reviews. (JupiterResearch/Bazaarvoice, January 2008)
  • 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content. (Forrester)
  • 77% of online shoppers use reviews and ratings when purchasing. (Jupiter Research, August 2006)
  • 58.7% of shoppers said they used product reviews to make decisions. Reviews rated higher than clearance sale pages (56.4%) and featured sale pages (51.3%). (, November 2007)
  • Compared to a base group that didn't read or contribute product reviews at all, people who read a review were 30% more likely to purchase a product and visitors who wrote a review were 80% more likely to convert, based on analysis across several Coremetrics clients. (Coremetrics, reported in BtoB, March 2007)
  • In an online survey of 4,000 consumers, 70% said they had done internet research on "everyday grocery products," and 63% said they had done so for health and beauty products. (Prospectiv, 2007)
  • Among the 46% of respondents who had posted or planned to post reviews about their online shopping experience, 88% said those reviews either were, or would be positive. (Nielson, 2007)
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of consumers read consumer-written product reviews on the Internet. (Deloitte & Touche)
  • Seven in 10 (69%) consumers who read reviews share them with friends, family or colleagues, thus amplifying their impact. (Deloitte & Touche)
  • More than eight in 10 (82%) of those who read reviews said that their purchasing decisions have been directly influenced by those reviews. (Deloitte & Touche)
  • 55% of surveyed Internet users consulted other people’s opinions online, making reviews the #1 resource for product research. (Avenue A/Razorfish “Digital Consumer Behavior Study,” October 2007)
  • In a study of 2,000 shoppers, 92% deemed customer reviews as “extremely” or “very” helpful. (eTailing Group)
  • 59% of their users considered customer reviews to be more valuable than expert reviews. (Bizrate)
  • 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. (Major consumer electronics retailer/iPerceptions study)
  • 81% consider the availability of customer reviews to be “very important” (33%)”somewhat important” (48%). (Major consumer electronics retailer/iPerceptions study)
  • 86.9% of respondents said they would trust a friend’s recommendation over a review by a critic, while 83.8% said they would trust user reviews over a critic. (MarketingSherpa)
  • When asked to note their most trusted information source, 60% of Canadian online buyers said consumer reviews compared to 31% who said newspapers or magazines. (J.C. Williams Group)
  • 84% of consumers earning more than $150,000 annually visit sites where customers review and rate products and services including restaurants. (The Luxury Institute)
  • 71% of UK online shoppers seek out ratings and reviews. (NetExtract, 2007)
  • 39% of those who bought from sites with reviews cite the reviews as the primary factor influencing the purchase decision. (Foresee Results Study, 2006)
  • 70% of online consumers said they use the Internet to research everyday grocery products. (Prospectiv, 2008)
  • 67% of UK consumers research products via the Internet before shopping in a store. (Accenture, 2008)

Marketer Demand for Ratings and Reviews

  • 79% of online UK retailers surveyed reported that the main benefit of consumer-generated rating and reviews was that they improved site conversion rates. (eMarketer, 2007)
  • The State of Retailing Online study, conducted by Forrester Research, found only 26% of the 137 top retailers surveyed offered customer ratings and reviews, but 96% of them ranked customer ratings and reviews as an effective or very effective tactic at driving conversion. (Forrester)
  • 68% of online marketers believe "media is in big trouble and will lose dollars to user-generated content." (iMedia Connection, February 2008)
  • Of merchants who adopt customer reviews, 58% said improving customer experience was the most important reason for adding reviews to their sites, followed by building customer loyalty (47%), driving sales (42%), and maintaining a competitive advantage (37%). (eTailing Group, 2008)
  • By 2020, 84% of marketers agree that building customer trust will become marketing's primary objective, and 82% agree that collaboration with customers will prevail over marketing. (1to1 Media survey of the 1to1 Xchange panel, April, 2008)
  • 11% of retailers reported a 20% or more overall increase in conversions as a result of adding reviews to their sites, 21% reported an 11% to 20% increase and 5% reported a 1% to 10% increase. (eTailing Group, 2008)
  • 81% of marketers surveyed say that their social media spending will meet or exceed their traditional advertising spending within the next 5 years. (TWI Surveys/Society for New Communications Research, November 2007)
  • Dave Seifert of Bass Pro Shops noted at a round table discussion that Top Rated Products were “the #1 merchandising technique ever utilized on their site.” (Bass Pro Shops)
  • After their order, PETCO asked customers, "What online tool most influenced your purchase decision?" The #1 answer was product ratings and reviews, with site search coming in a distant second. (PETCO)
  • 43% of retailers have reviews – double in one year. (Marketing Sherpa, February 2007)
  • Ratings and reviews is the second most important site feature behind search and online buyers who cite ratings and reviews most useful site feature has more than doubled from ’05 to ’06. “Retail Marketing: Driving Sales Through Consumer-Created Content” says retailers who adopt ratings and reviews as a differentiator and retention strategy will gain market share. (Jupiter)

Consumer Demand for Ask & Answer™

  • 76% of online shoppers surveyed report that content is insufficient to complete research or purchase online “always, most often or some of the time.” (eTailing Group, 2007)
  • Online businesses lose as many as 67% of consumers due to a lack of online product information. (Allurent)
  • 83% of online shoppers would make purchases if sites offered increased interactive elements. (Allurent)
  • One in four (24.5%) shoppers said they left a store because of a lack of assistance. (, November 2007)
  • 90% of UK shoppers surveyed said they wish they could communicate directly with businesses – using live chat, forums or call-me-back facilities – via their websites; one in three require it from the UK businesses they currently use. (1&1, October 2007)
  • 42% of consumers said they prefer being able to find the answers they need online on their own if they had a question or wanted help while shopping online. (Harris Interactive, May 2007)
  • The share of traffic to question-and-answer Web sites has more than doubled from 2007 to 2008 (HitWise, 2008)
  • Yahoo Answers had 25.3 million visits in February 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, March 2008)
  • 68% of consumers trust “people like me” first for product advice. (Edelman Trust Barometer)
  • 42% of 1,179 online consumers surveyed have left a site without purchasing multiple products because they couldn’t get a question answered about one of the products in their shopping cart; 41% decided not to make a planned purchase because they couldn’t readily find a piece of information about the product or service. (JupiterResearch, September 2007)

Conversion Results

  • Online shoppers who look at TripAdvisor reviews on the Hayes & Jarvis site book trips at double the rate of online shoppers who have not seen the TripAdvisor reviews, based on first four months after launch. (TripAdvisor, 2008)
  • 79% of online UK retailers surveyed reported that the main benefit of consumer-generated rating and reviews was that they improved site conversion rates. (eMarketer, 2007)
  • Shoppers who browsed the site’s new "Top Rated Products" page, which features products rated most highly by customers, had a 59% higher conversion rate than the site average and spent 16% more per order than other browsers of products. (Bass Pro Shops)
  • Shoppers who browsed the site's “Top Rated Products” page, which features products rated most highly by customers, had a 49% higher conversion rate than the site average and 63% more per order than other site shoppers. (PETCO)
  • Giving shoppers the ability to sort products within a category by customer rating led to a sales increase of 41% per unique visitor. (PETCO)
  • A large apparel retailer saw site-wide conversion rates increase by 90% (Q1 07 vs. Q1 06) just months after launching Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews. (Bazaarvoice customer case study)
  • MarketingExperiments tested product conversion with and without product ratings by customers. Conversion nearly doubled, going from .44% to 1.04% after the same product displayed its five-star rating. (MarketingExperiments Journal)
  • Conversion rates are higher on products with less than perfect reviews (less than 5 stars) than those without reviews at all, indicating that the customer feels that the product has been properly reviewed by other customers. (Burpee)

Average Order Value Results

  • Consumers were willing to pay between 20 to 99% more for a 5-star rated product than for a 4-star rated product, depending on the product category. (comScore/Kelsey, October 2007)
  • Top-rated products site navigation path featuring 4- and 5-star products in each category delivered 35% higher conversion and 40% higher average order value. (Bazaarvoice)
  • Reviews usage drives higher spending: 27% of users report an increase of 5-10%; almost 7% report an increase of 20%+. (Avenue A/Razorfish “Digital Consumer Behavior Study,” October 2007)

User-generated Content Beyond the Web

  • 64% of Social Researchers (those who refer to user-generated content when shopping) research products online more than half the time, no matter where they ultimately buy the product (store, Web, catalog, etc.). (eTailing Group, 2007)
  • Online consumers are becoming precision shoppers. For every $1 in online sales, the Internet influenced $3.45 of store sales. (eMarketer, 2007)
  • Nearly one out of every four Internet users (24%) reported using online reviews prior to paying for a service delivered offline. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • More than three-quarters of review users in nearly every category reported that the review had a significant influence on their purchase, with hotels ranking the highest (87%). (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • 97% of those surveyed who said they made a purchase based on an online review said they found the review to have been accurate. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • Nine of 10 local shopping trips made by multi-channel consumers for products researched online resulted in purchases worth $125 more than the products researched online—up 25% from the prior year. (Dieringer Research Group, 2006)
  • Consumers who shop online for digital cameras and TVs spend 10% more on in-store purchases than consumers who do not search online. (ChannelForce for Yahoo Search Marketing)
  • 90% of those surveyed say they have a better overall shopping experience when they research products online before shopping in-store. (Harris Interactive, October 2007)
  • 92.5% of adults said they regularly or occasionally research products online before buying them in a store. (BIGresearch)

Email Campaign Results

  • Email study: PETCO realized a 5X increase in email click-through rates by including relevant ratings and reviews content in the campaign promotion. (PETCO)
  • Top rated product email drive 46% higher revenue per email in A/B test. (Golfsmith)

Search Engine Optimization Results

  • In a study of a major electronics retailer site of 30,000 monthly natural language search visitors, converted 60% more often, spent 50% more, and viewed 82% more pages than search visitors to other pages. (Bazaarvoice case study with major electronics retailer)
  • In a study of online UK retailers, 59% reported that the consumer-generated activity leads to better search engine optimization. (eMarketer, 2007)

Return Rates and Customer Satisfaction

  • During the 2007 holiday season, consumers who recalled seeing customer reviews on a Web site reported 9% higher customer satisfaction levels, were 9% more likely to make a purchase and 8% more likely to purchase the next time they came to that site. (ForeSee Results, 2008)
  • Reviews drive 21% higher purchase satisfaction and 18% higher loyalty. (Foresee Results Study, January 2007)
  • Online UK retailers reported improved customer retention and loyalty by 73% once they implemented consumer-generated rating and reviews. (eMarketer, 2007)
  • Products with reviews have a 17% lower return rate than those without reviews. (Bazaarvoice PETCO Case Study, 2007)
  • Products with 50+ reviews have a return rate that is half of those with fewer than five reviews. (Bazaarvoice PETCO Case Study, 2007)
  • One study from IBM Institute for Business Management shows that while those adults in the UK who use social networking do so to attain a feeling of community, 17% of the adults surveyed say they do so because they like to participate with brands they favor. (IBM, August 2007)

Evolution of Advertising and Media

  • The average 1970s city dweller was exposed to 500 to 2,000 ad messages a day. Now it’s 3,000 to 5,000. (USA Today)
  • In 2005, MTV viewers had to put up with 21% more prime-time commercials per hour than in 2004, says TNS Media Intelligence and media firm MindShare. (USA Today)
  • 75% of people don't believe that companies tell the truth in advertisements. (Yankelovich)
  • 67% of moms would rather talk to a peer than hear from a celebrity about products. (Marketing VOX, October 2006)
  • Just 20% of mothers say advertisers connect with them. (Marketing VOX, October 2006)
  • Advertising is so ubiquitous that it's turning people off, it's desensitizing people to the message, says Rance Crain, Editor-in-Chief of Ad Age. (USA Today)


  • 26% of search results link to user-generated content. (Nielsen BuzzMetrics)
  • SearchVoice study: of 30,000 monthly SearchVoice visitors, they convert 60% higher, spend 50% more and viewed 82% more pages. (Major electronics retailer case study)
  • The ability to refine site search results by customer rating led to 22% more sales per unique visitor on a same-session basis and 41% more sales per visitor on a multi-session basis. (Bazaarvoice)


  • RSS study: Burpee measured a 43% higher click-through on RSS feeds with reviews than without. (Burpee)