homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks

Ecommerce Forum

What Effect Do Bad Website Reviews Have On Sales?

 3:12 pm on Mar 4, 2010 (gmt 0)


I was wondering what you guys thought the effects of bad website reviews has on the sales of an ecommerce site?

I'm guessing if there are a large number of reviews; let's say 200 are bad but 500 are good, this wouldn't have much of an effect on sales because there are so many reviews to base your decision on.

However, if a site has 4 bad reviews and 15 good reviews; I think potential customers would not buy from the site since the review numbers are a lot lower.

Let me know what you think!

Thank you,




 3:25 pm on Mar 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't buy from either of those sites. I always look for at the very least, 90% good reviews. A site with 15 reviews should have no more than one negative (for me), and a site with 500 reviews, at least 450 of those if not 475 better be positive.

Now that I think about it, the more reviews a seller has, the less wiggle I give them in terms of percent negative. If a store has very few reviews, one or two bad ones might just be an anomaly; because the n is so low hard to tell what the actual track record is.

However, if I see something that says 10,000 reviews, 66% positive - that screams that this company has systematic failure issues.



 4:39 pm on Mar 4, 2010 (gmt 0)


Yes, I guess that is what most buyers look for...including myself as well!

It stinks being a one man show when running an ecommerce site because I do a very good job replying to customer's email asap, and getting their orders shipped in the fastest time possible.

One complaint that seems to get people to write a bad review is sometimes I have a product listed as being in-stock, but after checking with my wholesaler they have it listed it as a backorder.

I updated my inventory stock as much as possible, but dealing with every other issue of the website I sometimes can't do it as often as I would like. However, most products invetory messages are usually correct it's just sometimes on some products this issue occurrs.

I email my customer immediately and let then know that the product needs to be backordered and give them the option to cancel if they want. I also state in my "order received" email that if an in-stock product is a backorder it will be automatically order to not delay their order further.

The worst part is I have plenty of happy customers that I have sent products to perfectly fine, but almost 99.9% of time thest happy customers never write a review on my service. I always follow up with an email to ask them in their free time if they can write a review it would be greatly appreciated. However, it seems like it just takes one small issue and a customer all of a sudden works for the inquisitor and can't wait to write up a full page column of everything that went wrong.

Where's the love from the pleased and happy customer? It's just not there...

And in the end, as a buyer I know that I will be turned off from buying myself from a website based on bad website reviews.



 5:25 pm on Mar 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Where's the love from the pleased and happy customer? It's just not there...

Where's the motivation to do so? Angry customers are much more motivated than happy customers.

Maybe give the customer some incentive to do so, a certain % off merchandise, something. Otherwise, happy people don't really bother.


 10:35 pm on Mar 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

People scan for the bad ones, then it's all over.

Some companies do "reputation management" and work on getting these negative reviews removed or bumped down.


 11:48 pm on Mar 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

olimits7, I had to read your post to make sure it wasn't one I had written.

I follow up each order with an email to make sure the customer is pleased with the order, and ask that they reply. If I get a reply, I send them a request to do a review, with the link to the review site (one that Google Products uses). I offer them 5% off a future purchase, whether the review is positive or negative. Everyone who's submitted a review has given me 100% satisfaction rating, even those customers who had problem orders (late, out of stock, etc), as I took measures to make them happy despite the problems.

I just hope I can keep that 5 star rating.


 5:05 am on Mar 5, 2010 (gmt 0)


That's a good idea; I guess even giving customers a great deal on the price of the product is still not enough for customers to write a review. lol.

I will definitely try the 5% off coupon method in my emails from now on to give customers an incentive to write a review.

Do you only offer the 5% off purchase only after you verify that they have left you a website review?



 2:38 pm on Mar 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Honestly, I would not worry about bad reviews. I know of several companies in my general niche who are absolute thieves and jerks to boot. They lie, they sell crap (if they send anything at all), they're racist, they use T&A to sell a family type product, and their customer service is either rude and nasty or their customer service phone number is disconnected. They own tons of domains and are just as bad under each one. They have literally hundreds of negative reviews online and almost NO positive reviews. They have an F rating with the BBB; they never respond to any complaints. I belong to a large website about this niche. It has a huge section of reviews. About 90% of the reviews of this company (and actually, a few others) are negative, and yet they continue to get purchasers from that very site, year after year after year. For that matter, they rip people off on their credit cards and continue to be able to process cards. Doesn't make any difference.

I have a couple negative reviews out there on the interwebs. I quit worrying about them because of these guys.


 11:01 pm on Mar 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you only offer the 5% off purchase only after you verify that they have left you a website review?

Yes. The funny thing is that very few people take advantage of the 5% discount. I don't keep track, so I may have repeat customers who've left reviews but didn't ask for the discount.

HRoth, there are customers who say they chose my site specifically because of good reviews, although I know of many sites with terrible reviews that sell a ton of product.


 5:30 pm on Mar 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've had some tell me they chose me because of good reviews too. But I no longer worry about the bad reviews that are out there.


 6:03 pm on Mar 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have a website that provides information on a variety of widgets and visitors can leave their reviews too. I'm considering dropping the comment form because it seems that only unhappy customers leave their opinion on these services. I'm sure there are many happy customers also, but as someone said above they are not motivated to write reviews.


 8:21 pm on Mar 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

We have been wondering this ourselves.. One of our competitors has many bad reviews across all the major review sites and the comparison shopping engines. Their sales have skyrocketed each of the last three years. That being said, we have no clue what to believe anymore with review sites.


 12:05 am on Mar 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think the issue is that most people don't look things up, and they don't read. That's why every one of us has so much experience with customers who ask maddening questions because they don't read info we have right on our website or in the cart. Bad reviews not having much of an effect is the up side of that, IMO.


 1:17 am on Mar 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

One of our competitors has many bad reviews across all the major review sites and the comparison shopping engines. Their sales have skyrocketed each of the last three years

Interested in knowing how you know your competitions sales figures, or profits?


 2:07 am on Mar 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I avoid bad reviews by providing good service and good product. In this case "silence is golden" as most folks won't give a review one way or the other... nor do I provide a review section on the commercial sites. No sense is asking for trouble.


 11:04 pm on Mar 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

When I am shopping, it depends on the ratio mostly. You always have a few nut cases, competitors, and people that Jesus and Moses combined could not satisfy. That probably amounts to around 5-10%.

If the good to bad ratio is over about 8 to 1, I usually look elsewhere.


 8:45 pm on Mar 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

We don't ask for reviews as mostly unhappy customers want to write their opinion.

We have adopted a strategy to contact those unhappy customers who write negative reviews at various places and try to get those negative remarks removed by satisfying their concerns. Most of the time it works.


 10:48 pm on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

you can find complaints about anything online...guaranteed. If you have been in business for any substantial period of time, there will be someone, somewhere writing a bad review. Just provide efficient, accurate, and effective service/product and you'll be fine


 11:38 pm on Mar 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

You are right in saying provide good product / service and you will be fine but it is near to impossible to have only satisfied customers even if you are providing quality products and services.

I think it is equally important to satisfy unhappy clients and motivate them to write good about your product / service with reference to bad reviews they already have written or at least get those removed from your site.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Ecommerce
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved