How Do Rating and Reviews Affect Conversion Rates on E-Commerce Sites?


Using data supplied by PowerReviews, a company that works with global brands to collect and display customer reviews, the Medill Spiegel Research Center (SRC) analyzed how ratings and reviews impact ecommerce conversion. While in previous studies on reviews, Spiegel examined data from a number of companies, in this study we took a different approach choosing to focus on one of PowerReviews’ customers, Hammacher Schlemmer, a company that provides one-of-a kind products and offers a lifetime guarantee.


PowerReviews research found that 95% of consumers use reviews, and 86% consider them to be an essential part of the purchase journey. In our two prior studies on reviews in partnership with PowerReviews, SRC looked at the circumstances under which reviews are most impactful on purchase behavior and how reviews differ depending on where they originate from and how they impact sales.

In this study, Spiegel worked with data provided by gift and specialty items company, Hammacher Schlemmer to better understand how reviews impact ecommerce conversion, especially in cases in which the products are typically unfamiliar, and the purchases are considered.