Trustpilot — The value of customer ratings — SwiftERM

Research was commissioned by Trustpilot to explore the value of showcasing customer ratings and reviews in advertising, and in particular the impact of Trustpilot content in digital campaigns. Based on a survey of 1,000 US consumers and interviews with Trustpilot business customers, this London Research study reports on the benefits of using Trustpilot ratings and reviews to build trust and increase propensity to purchase.

According to the research:

  • 63% of US consumers agree a good Trustpilot score makes them more likely to trust a brand.
  • 61% agree a good Trustpilot score makes them more likely to buy from a brand.
  • An online advertisement with the Trustpilot logo and stars is 37% more persuasive than the same ad without them.
  • Consumers are two-and-a-half times more likely to click a Trustpilot co-branded ad showing a five-star customer rating, TrustScore, 3,000+ reviews, and a customer review, than an ad with no Trustpilot content.
  • A Trustpilot five-star advert with a 4.8 TrustScore showing 500+ reviews is more than twice as compelling as an ad with no Trustpilot branding.
  • A Trustpilot five-star advert with a 4.8 TrustScore showing 3,000+ reviews is 31% more compelling than the same ad just showing the TrustScore.
  • A Trustpilot five-star advert with 3,000+ reviews performs 10% better than the one with 500+ reviews.
  • A five-star ad showing a high TrustScore with 3,000+ reviews and an actual customer review performs twice as well as an ad with no Trustpilot components, even when the price is 20% higher ($48 versus $40.

Consumers are right to be cautious about putting their trust in brands when they’re looking to buy products and services online. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have lost $588m to scams during the pandemic era alone, which makes people even more eager to ensure they’re buying from a reputable business and spending their money wisely. At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy about fake reviews used by less-known brands to bolster their credibility.

Our research shows that authentic customer reviews and star ratings are now firmly established as a go-to source of information for the majority of shoppers. Sixty-four percent of US consumers say they’re ‘often’ or ‘very often’ influenced by customer reviews during the journey to purchase, while 63% say the same for star ratings.

This does not surprise Kyle Rao, President and CEO of Secure Medical. As the company behind eDrugStore.com, they are fully aware that consumers need to see that people like them have used a service before, and rate it highly.

Ratings and reviews play an important role in influencing buying decisions across a wide range of categories, from electronics to travel, and property to auto rental. A t least half of consumers surveyed regard ratings and reviews as ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’.

Over the last few years the customer journey has become increasingly complex and non-linear, with consumers often engaging with multiple online and offline touchpoints — often across multiple devices — before they make a decision to purchase something. Advertisers should strive to understand how different touchpoints and channels work together to build trust and positively impact the decision-making process during the customer journey.

After customer ratings and reviews, the next most frequently visited touchpoints in influencing a buying decision are search engines, followed by ecommerce sites and social media . Given their usefulness and popularity, savvy marketers should think about how they can harness ratings and reviews across other channels, including both online and offline advertising, as well as across their own digital properties and email campaigns.

The trust engendered by adding Trustpilot stars and scores to digital advertising is not just good for brand image, it is also a core component in driving sales. Sixty-one percent of US consumers agree a good Trustpilot score makes them more likely to buy from a brand, including 26% who strongly agree . The propensity to buy something from a company is very closely linked to the level of trust in that brand. A very similar percentage of consumers (63%) agree that a good Trustpilot score makes them more likely to trust a brand .

Brands are seeing this throughout the customer journey. For Octopus Energy Germany, a green energy supplier, adding its star rating is a way for it to build trust while also raising awareness at the top of the funnel.

At fashion brand Bamigo, work is under way to add the Trustpilot logo, star rating and customer reviews to all its product pages because, as the company’s Marketing Manager Freek Rijken reveals, they are proving highly effective at the purchasing end of the funnel as well as the awareness stage. He believes this is because they convey to prospects how happy existing customers are with the quality of its products and service.

We have seen that consumers say they’re more likely to trust and buy from a brand with a high Trustpilot rating. A key objective of our research was to understand the impact of different Trustpilot content elements, namely the logo and stars, TrustScore (out of five), number of reviews, and an actual quote from a customer.

As part of our proprietary research, consumers were shown a series of digital advertisements for a new cell phone plan, and asked which ads they would be most and least likely to click in order to buy.

The research found that an online advertisement with the Trustpilot logo and stars is 37% more persuasive than the same ad without them. l

As well as seeking to understand the overall impact of the full suite of Trustpilot content and the logo and stars on their own, we also wanted to explore the relative impact of different content components, namely the customer review, the TrustScore at different levels, and the volume of reviews.

The research also found that a Trustpilot ad with five stars, TrustScore, 3,000+ reviews and a customer testimonial performs twice as well as the ad with no Trustpilot content, even when the price is 20% higher.

Adding all the possible elements of a Trustpilot rating — including logo, stars, score, number of reviews and a customer quote — is certainly paying dividends at fintech business PensionBee. Its Chief Marketing Officer, Jasper Martens, reveals the company puts all elements on its digital advertising which it credits with delivering a 15% rise in clickthrough rate.

“For us the Trustpilot logo and our score are a nudge to check us out,” he says. “The number of reviews is crucial in convincing people you’re providing a good service because if you have more than 5,000 people know it’s real, it’s very powerful. Ultimately, the customer voice is the main convincer, we believe, so customer reviews are essential.”

SwiftERM is the only company in the world authorised to co-brand Trustpilot product rating score in your automatically generated personal product selection emails for each consumer. From the above “independent research” that delivers 2.5x times the return otherwise available. We offer a free trial to prove it.

Originally published at https://www.swifterm.com on March 1, 2022.

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Founder & CEO of SwiftERM the personalization SaaS. Microsoft partners.

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David Swift

David Swift

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Founder & CEO of SwiftERM the personalization SaaS. Microsoft partners.