There has been a huge shift in the furniture shopping process. With a wealth of information at their fingertips, shoppers have the ability to arm themselves with as much information as they need to make a purchase decision. And with a highly considered purchase, like furniture, customers are much more invested in the research phase of a purchase compared to smaller-ticket categories.
Reviews have become increasingly popular on retail sites across all categories, providing shoppers with a first-hand perspective on what they are buying and potential risks associated with their purchase. Shoppers—especially millennial shoppers—have come to expect product reviews when shopping online.
Despite the popularity, not all furniture retailers have been eager to jump on the reviews bandwagon. The inability to control reviews, a disproportionate number of reviews across products and a lack of positive reviews across their site have fueled retailers’ hesitation to showcase product reviews. Sensing this hesitation, we set out to understand how product reviews impact online revenue and whether or not the availability of product reviews offers as many benefits to retailers as it does shoppers.
Reviews offer material benefits to retailers both online and in-store
We looked at a Blueport Platform client site to understand how products with reviews perform compared to products without reviews. The data overwhelmingly shows that product reviews have a proven impact on revenue.
On one of our clients’ furniture retail sites, products with reviews (both positive and negative) have a 38% higher revenue per product view than products without reviews.
The data also showed that products with a one-star average rating had a revenue per product view above the average, indicating negative reviews do not necessarily deter customers from a product purchase.
Beyond revenue, we found additional brand benefits of reviews to our furniture retail clients.
- Authenticity and Trust
Reviews give shoppers an outlet for objective, non-sales content that makes the product feel more authentic and trustworthy. Additionally, having negative reviews increases brand credibility as products that only have positive reviews seem suspect.
- Improved SEO ranking = more visits to site and stores
More and more, search engines are looking for relevant user-generated content when delivering sites to the top of search results. Product reviews not only have a direct impact on revenue, but can also increase organic traffic.
- Product Feedback for Buyers
With qualitative feedback provided on individual products, buyers will have direct access to feedback on what shoppers like and dislike about their purchases, allowing them to make smarter purchasing decisions.
Implement reviews to win over your customers
The data doesn’t lie—reviews are a win-win for both shoppers and furniture retailers alike. For shoppers, product reviews provide a critical part of the research journey to help them make a purchase decision. For furniture retailers, product reviews drive conversion, enhance positive brand perception and increase traffic online. So if you haven’t enabled reviews already, do yourself and your shoppers a favor and arm them with the ability to easily read and write reviews on your furniture retail site.