Using customer reviews to reduce shopping cart abandonment

30Jun10

If you’re involved with any type of online marketing, you’ve probably seen numerous articles about the importance of customer reviews. Typically, the standard line of thinking is that providing as many reviews as possible, and highlighting the most useful ones, will help sell more products. Those recommendations certainly make sense, but I think there’s one aspect of e-commerce sites where reviews are generally being underutilized: the shopping cart and checkout process.

In particular, whenever a product’s reviews exceed a certain threshold, then that info should be shown right next to the product name on the shopping cart and checkout pages. Of course, the exact criteria for when reviews are displayed would probably vary from site to site. Some retailers might show the info only for those products that have at least 3 or so reviews, while others might restrict it to products whose average star rating is say 3.5 on a 5 point scale. And for those cases when the review info is being displayed, there should be a link to view more details about the ratings — without leaving the cart and checkout process, of course.

By extending product reviews to the most important pages in the purchasing process, retailers will help customers feel more confident in their proposed purchase. In turn, cart abandonment will decrease and the number of successful transactions will grow, all the while leveraging the customer review systems that retailers already have in place.



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