Shoppers use reviews extensively as part of their pre-purchase decision-making but the interesting thing is that they always seek out the negative reviews.

Negative reviews in turn tend to be ranked pretty highly in the review section especially if you have something like a like button or an upvote button that pushes the best reviews to the top. It’s not unusual to have scathing criticisms as the first few reviews on a product page. 


What can you do?

A rating rating system is a great solution. Some sites use percentages but a star system is best since it’s easy to use and present everywhere.


Summarize the ratings

Shoppers rely on the star rating even more than on the content of individual reviews to provide an overall picture of how other customers experienced a product. 

Without a ratings distribution summary at the top of the review section, shoppers are likely to let the first few reviews determine how positively or negatively they perceive the product, and wonder if some of the reviews are fake.

A high star rating like say 4.5 gives the impression that a product is good and primes them to discount negative reviews as either exaggerated or a small price to pay for a good product.


Show the number of raters

You should show the number of reviewers who make up a rating. Customers are generally skeptical of all five-star reviews. They also prefer products that have been rated by many people even if a competing product has a higher rating.


Summarize the attributes

If your shoppers are rating products on some attributes in addition to giving an overall rating (e.g. fit, width, etc.), then it’s a good idea to include a summary of those attributes in the ratings distribution summary section.