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Whitepaper: The Hidden Truths About Online Reviews Released

e-tailing group Whitepaper, Commissioned by PowerReviews, Reveals That Unveils That Unbiased User-Generated Reviews Create Loyal, Lifelong Shoppers

PowerReviews™, the Internet’s most comprehensive developer of customer-review solutions for retailers and their shoppers, today released a whitepaper entitled “Merchant and Customer Perspectives On Customer Reviews and User-Generated Content.” The whitepaper, commissioned by PowerReviews and written by the e-tailing group, surveyed dozens of online retailers for their insights on how online reviews have been implemented and used, as well as analyzed the measurable business results. The paper was authored by Lauren Freedman of the e-tailing group and sponsored by PowerReviews, and is the follow-up to “Social Shopping Study 2007,” which was released in November 2007. The document is available online for free download at:

“The whitepaper complements our previous study on consumer use and reception of online reviews,” says Jay Shaffer, VP of Marketing at PowerReviews. “This exemplary survey highlights the extraordinary reception that reviews are receiving throughout the merchant world and how retailers are leveraging online reviews technology from a variety of vendors for increased customer loyalty, a better customer experience, and an increased ROI.”

Findings of note include:

  • 59% of merchants interviewed cited the customer experience as the most important factor in the addition of customer reviews to their site.
  • 79% said the product page is very successful as a product review hub. In contrast, the home page had varying degrees of success with 37 percent reporting strong successes.
  • Merchants indicate that there is less reliance on customer service as the reviews answer some of the questions that otherwise must be handled on a one-off basis.
  • The unbiased nature of reviews (where they are more transparent and trustworthy) engenders customer trust and that trust translates into loyal, lifelong shoppers.
  • Merchants were generally surprised by the number of positive reviews, another hidden truth. Initial fears of heavily negative reviews never materialized for any of the merchants interviewed.

About the e-tailing group
The e-tailing group, inc. serves as the multi-channel merchant’s eye, bringing a merchant’s sensibility to evolving the multi-channel shopping experience. A Chicago-based consultancy, they provide practical strategic perspectives and actionable merchandising solutions to merchants selling online as well as to enabling technology firms. For more information visit the e-tailing group website (

About PowerReviews
PowerReviews is an enterprise solutions company that provides customer reviews and social merchandising solutions to multi-channel retailers and their shoppers. Our technology platform for collecting, organizing, structuring and moderating relevance-based reviews helps online retailers significantly boost their sales. PowerReviews’ user-generated content and community drives the highest sales uplift in the industry, and in addition to working with more than 200 online retailers, including Staples, Toys “R” Us, REI, Ritz Camera, Walgreen’s, and The Sports Authority, we have also launched our own shopping portal, Buzzillions. The company is based in San Francisco and is backed by Menlo Ventures and Draper Richards.

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