Consumer Review Statistics Motherlode

Bazaarvoice hosts the motherlode of  “Social Commerce Statistics” snippets with an emphasis on reviews but much more.

Here is a small sampling:

  • Consumer reviews are significantly more trusted- nearly 12 times more- than descriptions that come from manufacturers, according to a survey of US mom Internet users by online video review site EXPO.  (eMarketer, February 2010)
  • 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy, July 2009)
  • Customer reviews are an important research tool for online consumers, with 71 percentconsumer reviews make them more comfortable that they are buying the right product. (Nielsen Online Holiday Survey, December 2008)
  • Top-rated products site navigation path featuring 4- and 5-star products in each category delivered 49% higher conversion and 63% higher average order value. (Bazaarvoice, June 2007)
  • PETCO realized a 5X increase in email click-through rates by including relevant ratings and reviews content in the campaign promotion. (PETCO, June 2007)

Bazaarvoice also has a whitepaper resource guide.

Google Universal Search Sends Visitors to its Other Properties

Enid Burns from SearchEngineWatch reports:
The average internet user performed 52 searches per month per user in 2006 compared to 74 searches per month in 2007.

Google’s “universal search” is sending a lot of traffic to its other properties:

  • 173.4 million referrals to its image search
  • 142.8 million to YouTube.
  • 76.2M to Google Video
  • 45.2M to maps
  • 32M to news

79.6% of searchers found want they wanted on the first search results page and didn’t go on to the second.

Consumers Visit Travel Sites With Surprising Frequency

A 2007 study by ComScore focused on Google searches indicated travel shoppers visit a travel site with surprising frequency before making an online purchase on the same site, an average of 2.5 times over 29 days. In fact, the average travel shopper does 12 searches and visits numerous sites in comparing pricing, destination and other factors.

Also true: travel is considered one of the most competitive sectors on the web in terms of comparison shopping. With customers visiting multiple times and taking 29 days on average to make a purchase, reviews on major sites such as Expedia, Priceline, Trip Advisor, Travelocity and Orbitz may be seen multiple times by a visitor in the buying cycle.

Reported by AvalonReports

Value of Organic SERP declines quickly from 1-10

EyeTracking Study verifies the importance of page position and rank in both Organic and PPC search results for visibility and click through.

This study probably explains why the click-thru rate drops do dramatically as you go deeper down the top-10 results.

Eye scan and click through behavior changes dramatically as users moved “below the fold” to the section of results that required scrolling down. At the top of the page, the amount of eye movement declined rapidly through the top 4 or 5 results, and then at the bottom of the screen, tends to become more consistent through to the end of the page.

Rank 1 – 100%
Rank 2 – 100%
Rank 3 – 100%
Rank 4 – 85%
Rank 5 – 60%
Rank 6 – 50%
Rank 7 – 50%
Rank 8 – 30%
Rank 9 – 30%
Rank 10 – 20%

Eyetracking’s Golden Triangle on Search Results Page

An EyeTracking Study verifies the importance of page position and rank in both Organic and PPC search results for visibility and click through.

A joint eye tracking study conducted by search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it and eye tracking firm Eyetools has shown that the vast majority of eye tracking activity during a search happens in a triangle at the top of the search results page indicating that the areas of maximum interest create a “golden triangle.”

Interesting Usability Summary Data

As reported by Chromaticsites:

According to (an official U.S. Government Web site managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services):

  • Research by User Interface Engineering, Inc., shows that people cannot find the information they seek on a Web site about 60 percent of the time.
  • Studies by Forrester Research estimate that approximately 50 percent of potential sales are lost because users can’t find information and that 40 percent of users do not return to a site when their first visit is a negative experience.
  • A study by Zona Research found that 62 percent of Web shoppers give up looking for the item they want to buy online.
  • According to Elizabeth Millard, “The best sites we’ve found are usable only 42 percent of the time.

Although statistics are not always 100% accurate, these numbers illustrate the importance of having strong website usability. Whether you sell a product online or are trying to build a readership base around your blogging website, usability should be your number one priority.

link – has more tips on general usability

Vacation Rental Online Booking Behavior

FlipKey interviewed 177 consumers who had recently evaluated vacation rentals on several listing services and found:

  • Only 60% successfully located and booked a vacation rental property.
  • Of the 40% who where unable to identify accommodations, the majority chose not to book due to the lack of availability, attractiveness and/or cost of the options they identified.
  • Among those that choose to book a hotel room or B&B, 67% cited that finding a hotel/B&B was significantly easier than finding a vacation home
  • 50% cited they simply could not find a vacation home that was available
  • 22% were concerned about the quality of the vacation home options they identified.

These concerns highlight addressable challenges that are handicapping the industry’s true potential.

*Data from FlipKey Vacation Rental Research Report, Aug 2007

Online Reservation Stats for Web Travelers

Forrester Research reports:

  • In 2007, nearly 40 million U.S. households will book travel online, spending $86 billion. Web travelers now make up 79% of the U.S. travel population and 55% of them buy leisure travel online.
  • High-income travelers, households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more a year, account for just 16% of the U.S. online leisure travel population – a market that represents 10.9 million households and spends $60 billion on leisure travel.


Role of Consumer Reviews and User Generated Content

The winds of change are now favouring the consumer, as recent EyeforTravel research of young UK professionals revealed.

  • 72% said that their online travel choices had been influenced by other consumer reviews.
  • 63.8% occasionally use CGC (UGC)  in their buying cycle.

Conclusion: more proof that managing your hotel’s online reputation, getting great reviews, and using the manager’s response is critical.