Home Forums Marketing mastery Do poor product ratings affect ecommerce sales?

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  • #970606
    kbrookes
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    • Total posts: 265

    I know that seems like the obvious answer is ‘yes!’, but I’d be keen to see if there have been any studies done on this.

    For example, do poorly rated products on Amazon sell less because of their reviews or simply because it’s a crappy product? Is there even a way to differentiate?

    #1045169
    premiumwriting
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    • Total posts: 13

    I haven’t seen any actual studies on this, but it would make sense. In my experience, testimonials make a huge difference to sales, especially – people care what other people like them are saying about a product. In psychology it’s called social proof. People’s actions are influenced by the herd. Robert Cialdini’s book Influence covers the principle in detail as it applies to sales.

    #1045170
    kbrookes
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    • Total posts: 265

    Interesting, I’ll try and track that book down.

    So the question is, is it worthwhile to even stock products that have poor reviews? Would you be better off focusing on the 20% of top-notch products in your niche than trying to too be all-inclusive?

    #1045171
    createdevelop
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    • Total posts: 171

    I don’t think there could really even BE any good studies into this topic, because how can you tell which came first, the good reviews or the sales, and how can you control for (ceteris paribus) people’s reactions to the review itself in a meaningful environment? It also heavily depends on the market, competition etc.

    It also depends on the type of “bad review”. Obviously if a product gets an outright “1 star” then it will look bad in the eyes of the reviewer/reader and that will definitely have an impact on sales.

    But what about if the product gets a 3/5 review for not meeting the product description. Someone could buy a drill hoping to go diamond mining, and be disappointed. Some people will read the review and say… “well it should still do the job for putting up a shelf”.

    To answer your follow on question, I would say you could cut off your products at anything less than 5/10, but if a product is selling in the top 10% of products, stock it anyway.

    #1045172
    King
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    #1045173
    Anonymous
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    • Total posts: 11,465

    That link’s a great find Matt. Thanks for sharing it!

    Quote:
    … is it worthwhile to even stock products that have poor reviews? Would you be better off focusing on the 20% of top-notch products in your niche than trying to too be all-inclusive?

    Kelsey, if you’re interested in doing some more reading on this subject, I can recommend The Long Tail by Chris Anderson. It is approaching the whole topic from a different perspective though, and may not be relevant to the positioning you want to take.

    All the best,
    Jayne

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