The power of online customer reviews

5 minute read

The surprising way to transform negative reviews to 5-star ratings.

The rise of the review culture in eCommerce means that every shopper now has the potential to be an influencer. Customers are increasingly unforgiving when it comes to expectations not being met with almost two-thirds of shoppers likely to leave a negative review following a bad shopping experience.


It’s important for retailers to not underestimate the power of online reviews, customers don’t just use them to compare products, they are a major influence on consumers perception of a brand. More than half of all shoppers read online reviews before they buy, every time they shop! So what are the important takeaways for retailers when it comes to reviews?

​More than half of all shoppers read online reviews before buying, every time they buy.

Consumers are reliant on shopper feedback and product reviews.

Eight out of 10 millennials never buy anything without first reading a review, a study has found.

Maybe as a merchant, you’ve optimised your eCommerce website in every way that makes it simple for a shopper to find your store, search items and purchase at the checkout with ease, but if you have low ratings or, even worse, no reviews listed on your site you are likely to be missing out on a huge chunk of the pie. Stores that do not display reviews only serve to inspire suspicion from potential buyers who view this lack of transparency reason to believe the brand has something to hide. 

​30% of UK shoppers are sceptical of brands that fail to share product reviews from other customers

Positive reviews perpetuate positive results.

54% of shoppers would spend more with retailers that have excellent reviews or high star ratings. 

The digitally empowered customer is confronted with an overwhelming abundance of choice when it comes to online shopping. They are likely to be time-poor, have high expectations and be unwilling to take risks with their money.


So when a buyer is running online comparisons and is presented with positive reviews and 5-star ratings they are immediately put at ease that their hard-earned money won’t go down the drain. They are reassured that the risk of buying a product they’ve never touched from a retailer that they’ve never dealt with is dramatically reduced.


Favourable reviews instil a sense of trust in the shopper and enhance a brand’s reputation. Studies have shown that positive reviews are proven to increase conversion, enhance retention and boost spending. 

Customers are willing to spend 22% more with a retailer that has a five-star rating, compared to one with average reviews.

Cultivating positive reviews can give retailers a very serious edge over their rivals. It might seem like a no brainer but many retailers don’t seem to have caught on to the concept.


If you’re on online retailer how do you go about ensuring that you’re encouraging good results, the first step is to look at the negative reviews your store receives and analyse them for areas of opportunity. The aspects of the customer journey that need improvement will become obvious!  Hint – You might want to start with operations…

Operational failures are at the heart of most negative reviews.

Retailers need to adopt a strategic approach when it comes to acting on reviews. Analysing negative reviews and researching positive feedback of stores with excellent ratings will highlight what it is that delights a customer to the point of writing a favourable review.


The Brightpearl survey on reviews has uncovered a fascinating insight, with everything pointing back to operational excellence more so than price, product or how snazzy a website is.


Glowing reviews focused on the aspects of the customer journey that happened after the purchase itself with these ate top – ease and speed of delivery, same day and next day delivery options, being able to track the parcel in real-time, excellent customer service and response times and convenient returns.


A retailer that doesn’t have these elements nailed is doomed to receive repeated negative reviews about poor delivery. 77% of bad reviews were about bad post-purchase service, for example, items not arriving on time, failed deliveries, or a lack of delivery updates.

One-third of UK shoppers have left a negative review online.

Analysis and action - retailers need to respond to negative reviews.

Negative reviews can cause a chain reaction for a store.


  • Shoppers are highly dubious about shopping with a brand that has more than five negative reviews.
  • Two in five people are turned off a retailer they would have shopped with by a single unfavourable review.

38% of retailers admit that they do not know how best to deal with negative reviews, according to the study by Brightpearl. The best approach for a retailer is to use the findings from the survey on reviews to implement a solid strategy to rectify issues, and it’s clear that getting delivery and customer service right should be the focus for retailers suffering from bad reviews. 


Retailers that employ a reliable delivery management solution can streamline their operations as well as provide the customer with a seamless experience. For example, retailers that use the Scurri software have access to a suite of dependable carriers all through the one platform that gives them and their customers with full visibility of a parcel all the way along its journey. No more failed deliveries and no more ‘where’s my order’ complaints!

Almost two thirds of shoppers are likely to leave a negative review following a bad experience.

Negative reviews should be viewed as an opportunity to improve the customer journey and not a threat and the technology exists to ensure that these issues disappear. By implementing solutions a retailer can turn their negative reviews around. And the great news is that customers only look at the most recent reviews so with a comprehensive reviews strategy and the correct technology in place retailers can build up reputation and trust again and earn fresh reviews. And don’t forget ’30 per cent of shoppers also look more favourably on retailers who actively respond to negative reviews posted about their services online.’

Sources: All statistics from the Brightpearl reviews survey. Other sources: Charged Retail, Independent.
Laura Roche - Scurri content Marketing


Laura Roche Marketing Executive, Scurri

Laura Roche is a Marketing Executive at Scurri, managing social media and content marketing. Laura shares breaking news in the eCommerce space with our readers as well as sharing insights across the delivery and logistics landscape.

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