NEWS26 March 2019

Product ratings change shopper behaviour

News Retail Technology Travel Trends UK

UK – Ratings have grown in importance as a purchase evaluation tool to the point where they are the third most important factor when buying a product, according to pricing specialists Simon-Kucher.

Product customer ratings_crop

In its study Trend Radar 2019 – The Rating Economy, Simon-Kucher found that shoppers are relying less on marketing messages to the point that only product features and price are seen as more important than ratings.  

The report says that the big tech disruptors such as Amazon and eBay have used product ratings so effectively that they have fundamentally changed shopping behaviour and are now challenging brand loyalty as a consumer force. Being able to directly compare products quickly and easily makes customers more likely to switch, so that ratings erode brand loyalty.

Mark Billige, managing partner UK at Simon-Kucher said: “There is a lot of focus on disruptors’ technology, algorithms and business models, but their successful incorporation of ratings to rapidly build trust and loyalty has been under-appreciated by many commentators even though this key to their success is hiding in plain sight.

“Successful use of ratings has been a driving force allowing Amazon, eBay, Uber, AirBnB, TripAdvisor and many other platforms to harness thousands of smaller suppliers, while building huge levels of satisfaction and trust among consumers with minimal marketing spend. The use by businesses of the power of ratings to influence customer behaviour is only going to grow further with time and across more sectors.”

Thirty-eight per cent of UK survey participants ( 51% globally) believe they receive more value for money due to product ratings. And the reliance on ratings can help companies: 17% of consumers report they would buy more when products are rated highly; 12% would select more expensive products; and 15% of those surveyed said they are prepared to pay more for products with higher ratings.

Product reviews are most significant for travel and hospitality ( 58% of UK consumers refer to ratings before making their purchase decision compared with 60% globally) and consumer electronics ( 52% in the UK and 60% globally).