Saturday, November 23, 2013

Will the number of consumer reviews in PPC ads affect credibility?

Consumer reviews work. They have been shown to drive sales, and so now they are used by most retailers online. 
The problem is, marketers know this too, and it's no surprise that reviews are used as much as possible, particularly to improve seller ratings for PPC ads. 

Numbers of reviews

Here, the top PPC ad has almost 60,000 reviews. That's a lot, about ten times more than Interflora.
In fact, the sites in this sector seem to have more reviews than others, though this may just be the nature of the business .  
That's a lot of reviews, and I'm not surprised that Will sees something suspicious in the quantity, though I think it can be explained by the relatively aggressive techniques used to gather reviews. 
Companies like Feefo and Trustpilot are emailing customers on behalf of their retail clients very soon after purchases, and reviews can be left relatively easily using this method. 
In some cases, they are going through past transactions and emailing these customers to 'backfill' the reviews. These are not only used for PPC ads, but also on site: 
In addition, customers may buy multiple items in any given transaction, and each one can qualify for a separate review. Add to that the fact that customers can review the same product on different platforms, and one purchase of, let's say, five items can generate 10 -15 reviews. 

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