Live from SES NY: Merchants Need to Bring Ratings and Reviews Home

Mar 25, 2010 2:21 AM  By

You’re interested in a comforter on IKEA’s e-commerce Website, but you’re not sure what the furniture and home goods merchant’s internal rankings of “1″ to “6″ mean. So who do you turn to when there’s no customer ratings and reviews on the site?

When this happened to Katrina Gosek, market lead for Endica Technologies, she did what most consumers appear to be doing: She turned to Google for an answer.

Speaking at a session during the Search Engine Strategies New York Conference & Expo on March 24, Gosek said that she Googled the IKEA comforter and as it turns out, there were several user reviews available. But none directed back to the IKEA Website.

“IKEA did not show up in the Google search because they do not have ratings and reviews on its site,” Gosek said. “There’s so much out [user-generated] information out there that the brand just isn’t leveraging.”

What should user-generated content be considered an important part of a merchant’s search strategy? Because consumers trust what other consumers have to say about a product.

What’s more, Gosek offered up some proof that social content converts searchers into shoppers: Endica’s research shows that 97% more revenue is generated from review content on a merchant’s Website than from a search engine.

User-generated content offers “a huge opportunity to get shoppers to your site,” Gosek said. “It also helps with product development, because you as a marketer can listen to what customers are saying about what you sell.”