It’s great to have lots of reviews, but once the number of reviews gets to a certain point, it’s important to find ways to organise reviews and help other shoppers make sense of them.
Here are some ideas:
1. Rate this review / was this helpful?
According to usability expert Jared Spool, adding a simple question to its product pages was responsible for $2.7bn of revenue each year for Amazon.
That question, ‘was this review helpful to you?’ enabled users to give feedback on reviews and helped Amazon to sort the wheat from the chaff.
As Jared Spool says:
“Amazon quietly bumps the three most helpful reviews to the top. It tries to balance positive and negative reviews, so shoppers get a balanced perspective. An interesting side effect is how these selected reviews get more votes. If they are controversial (in that not everyone agrees they were helpful), their ratio goes down, allowing the most helpful reviews to bubble up past them.”
“This makes it a self-managing system, letting the reviews people find the most helpful to maintain their standing at the top of the list. The result is an understated implementation that works great.”
2. Average review score summaries
Not every customer will take the time to read reviews, so showing average review scores helps them to get an idea of ratings at a glance.
3. Use reviews in filtered navigation
Reviews are not only useful on product pages, but they can also help customers in their product selection.
If you have reviews on site, adding a filter by user rating option provides a useful tool for customers:
Kiddicare does this, but also uses reviews and customer feedback to help customers navigate to products according to their pros and best uses:
4. Using charts to display review information
Like the average review scores, charts like this one from Amazon help users to make sense of large numbers of reviews, and get an idea of the general consensus.
5. Show some detail
Kiddicare not only gives a rating and shows the customers’ opinions, but also lists pros and cons, best uses, and asks the person leaving the review to describe themselves.
This means that potential customers can view this useful detail at a glance, but it also means that Kiddicare can use this information in its navigation.
6. Online reviews for in store customers
Reviews aren’t just for online purchases, and many will either research online before heading in store, or use their mobiles to find reviews of the products they are considering.
I’ve yet to see examples of this, but using online reviews in stores could work as a sales driver, in the same way that Waterstones and other retailers use staff recommendations.
People are using smartphones to find reviews (and compare prices) anyway, so it makes sense to show reviews, or prompt them to visit your product pages on their mobiles and view reviews.