Too Many Reviews Might Overwhelm Online Shoppers, New Study Finds

Consumers have been met with a huge influx of online ecommerce stores, and that has provided both benefits as well as disadvantages with all things having been considered and taken into account. Ecommerce can be quite convenient because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing people to buy items from home, but the overwhelming number of products may make it challenging for a consumer to decide between them.

Researchers at Penn State found that featured reviews can help inform customers and allow them to make better choices than might have been the case otherwise. In spite of the fact that this is the case, the study has also found that there is a limit to how many reviews might be useful. Instead of increasing the quantity of featured reviews, platforms need to prioritize showing relevant reviews that have provided a rating that is similar to the overall rating of the product in question.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that no more than three featured reviews are required to boost sales for a given product. This would be enough to give the prospective buyer a variety of relevant information, and anything beyond that would do little more than to muddy the waters.

Customers can also endorse other reviews which can make them all the more effective. There is only a limited amount of information and opinion that can be given for a product, so while a million reviews in general may be useful, only three to five of them need to be featured at the topmost region of the product page.

This suggests that an approach the prioritizes quality over quantity will always win out in the end. Consumers can find a lot of value in a detailed featured review that gives an objective representation of the quality of the product. This also means that total number of reviews is less important, since a product doesn’t need that many featured reviews to see an increase in its sales.

Illustration: Filo / Getty Images / iStock

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