Your Users Trust Each Other, Not You: Why and How to Implement Ratings and Reviews


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Ratings and reviews have been a staple of good online experiences for years, yet many organizations still resist the onslaught of user opinions on their own sites. Are ratings and reviews right for my business? How much do my users want them? What\'s the ROI? How do I deal with negative reviews? And if I go ahead with ratings and reviews, what are best practices for designing and implementing them? How do I make them useful and usable? Learn the answers in a session jam-packed with strategies and data for the business folk and practical tips and examples for the design folk. Presentation by Steve Mulder.

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  • Your Users Trust Each Other, Not You: Why and How to Implement Ratings and Reviews

    1. Steve Mulder Why and how to implement ratings and reviews Your users trust each other, not you
    2. Why implement ratings & reviews?
    3. People don’t trust you
    4. 76% of American consumers believe companies don’t tell the truth in advertising Yankelovich (2005)
    6. 60% have a much more negative opinion of marketing & advertising than a few years ago Yankelovich (2004)
    7. People do trust each other
    8. 78% say consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising Nielsen (2007)
    9. 83% say online evaluations and reviews influence their purchasing decisions Opinion Research Corporation (2008)
    10. 84% trust user reviews more than critics’ reviews MarketingSherpa (2007)
    11. Trust in “person like me” tripled to 68% from 2004-2006 – biggest influencer to consumers Edelman Trust Barometer (2006, 2007)
    12. Think beyond products Content Topics Features People Places Companies Events
    13. 76% use online reviews to help make purchase decisions Forrester Research (2007)
    14. 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site offering ratings/reviews eVOC Insights / RelevantView (2006)
    15. 69% of those who read online reviews share them with friends, family, or colleagues Deloitte & Touche (2007)
    16. What about B2B?
    17. 93% consider ratings and reviews valuable or very valuable for the business user Christian C Carlsson dissertation research (08)
    18. 58% have removed a supplier as an option because of a negative rating/review Christian C Carlsson dissertation research (08)
    19. What do the adopters think?
    20. Although only 25% of top ecommerce sites have ratings and reviews so far… Forrester Research (2007)
    21. 96% of those sites rate them as an effective or very effective merchandising tactic Forrester Research (2007)
    22. Reasons merchants added online reviews <ul><li>Improving the customer experience </li></ul>E-Tailing Group (2008) 58% Building customer loyalty 47% Driving sales 42% Maintaining a competitive advantage 37%
    23. What’s the ROI?
    24. Impact of ratings/reviews on online retailers <ul><li>reported site traffic increases </li></ul>E-consultancy and Bazaarvoice (2007) 77% reported improved conversion rates 56% reported higher average order values 42%
    25. NetShops found that reviewed products experience a 26% lift in sales College of Information Science, University of Nebraska (2007) Product with no review Product with reviews
    26. Petco let users sort products by rating and saw sales increase 41% per visitor Petco (2007) Before rating sort After rating sort
    27. Bass Pro Shops users who viewed Top Rated Products had a 59% higher conversion rate Bass Pro Shops (2007) Average visitors Viewers of Top Rated Products
    28. Impact goes beyond the sale <ul><li>higher satisfaction reported for sites with reviews </li></ul>ForeSee Results (2007) 10% more likely to purchase from the retailer again 8% more likely to recommend the site to others 11%
    29. SEO
    30. Customer support
    31. 200% ROI in one year Forrester’s calculated ROI for implementation of ratings/reviews
    32. Benefits beyond the Web
    33. Petco saw a 500% increase in email clickthrough after including ratings/reviews Petco (2008) Before ratings After ratings
    34. 93% of adults research products online before purchasing in a store BIGresearch (2007)
    35. 24% of those online have used online reviews before buying a service delivered offline comScore / The Kelsey Group (2007)
    37. The challenge of negative reviews
    38. “ People only write reviews when they’re mad or disappointed”
    39. 80% of reviews are positive Forrester (2007)
    40. Breakdown of ratings submitted on all Bazaarvoice client sites 1 2 3 4 5 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Bazaarvoice (2006)
    41. “ Negative reviews scare others away”
    42. Conversion rates are higher for products with positive and negative reviews <ul><li>Negative ratings and reviews… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>make the site (and its products) more credible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increase comfort in purchasing (weaknesses are now known) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>&quot;We're always surprised by how much negative reviews help drive sales.&quot; John Squire, VP of Product Strategy, Coremetrics </li></ul><ul><li>“ When customers see a mix of different ratings they are more apt to trust the review process…. Negative reviews help customers affirm they've vetted all concerns before making a purchase decision.” Don Zeidler, Director of Direct Marketing, Burpee </li></ul>
    43. Negative reviews can lead to product improvements
    44. Turning a negative into a positive
    45. Best Practices
    46. Best Practices Item Page
    47. Make ratings & reviews discoverable: location, context, prominence
    48. Stick to what’s familiar: stars
    50. Use the familiar 1-5 scale
    51. Consider ratings by attribute
    52. Show date of review
    53. … and reviewer info
    54. <ul><li>Name/nickname </li></ul><ul><li>Contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant profile (e.g., location) </li></ul><ul><li>Member since </li></ul>
    55. <ul><li>Badges </li></ul><ul><li>Stats </li></ul><ul><li>Personal info </li></ul><ul><li>Connections </li></ul>
    56. Reviewer actually owns it
    57. <ul><li>Helpful votes </li></ul><ul><li>Report/offensive </li></ul><ul><li>Comments </li></ul>
    58. Respond to negative reviews
    59. Average rating and number of ratings
    60. Distribution of ratings
    61. Trend over time
    62. Sort reviews (also by helpful)
    63. Friends’ reviews
    64. Summary of reviews
    65. Parsing by attribute
    66. Cross-selling / merchandising
    67. Best Practices Beyond the Item Page
    68. Show ratings on listing pages
    69. Search results pages too
    70. No ratings shown???
    71. No way to filter or sort by rating???
    72. Sort by highest rating
    73. Filter by rating
    74. Filter by rating
    75. Give users more control
    76. Show ratings from people like me
    77. Promote using ratings
    78. Merchandise/promote using “top” lists
    79. Cross-sell using “top” lists
    80. Best Practices Eliciting Reviews
    81. 19% of US online adults write an online review at least monthly Forrester Research (2008)
    82. Step 1: Ask!
    83. Step 2: Invite reviews via email follow-up
    84. Step 3: Invite reviews via your site
    85. Incentives can help, but rarely needed
    86. Recognize top reviewers
    87. The easier the better
    88. Clean design, few distractions, helpful tips
    89. Keep registration barrier low
    90. Encourage detail, prod with questions
    91. Don’t go insane
    92. Let people preview their review
    93. Set expectations for posting
    94. Moderate lightly
    95. Implementation options
    96. [email_address] Let your customers talk