Why you need to make more space on your digital shelf for reviews

As the Golden Quarter of 2022 heats up, many eCommerce retailers are looking for strategies to optimize sales and drive revenue—especially in the face of inflation. With holiday sales expected to grow by just 1-3% this year, industry leaders are sprucing up their digital shelves to reach consumers where they’re spending their hard-earned money, in-store and online.

If you’re unfamiliar, the digital shelf is where a brand’s products are displayed online – and how consumers interact, discover, analyze, and purchase them across channels. Whether a shopper buys wool socks, a paddleboard, or ski boots, the digital shelf is often their first interaction. The experience includes search, organic and paid social advertising, product descriptions, sponsored content, influencer marketing, product reviews, and more. It also extends to brick-and-mortar stores, as shoppers browse online before making in-person purchases. 

With online sales expected to reach almost $6 trillion by next year, there’s a lot of revenue at stake in a highly competitive landscape. To accelerate through the holiday season and into the new year, it’s time for brands to optimize their digital shelves to meet shoppers’ demands—and this starts with consumer intelligence.

The power of research 

A 2022 study from inriver shows that 94% of consumers believe product information is important when buying online. Shoppers are proactive: They do their research by reading product descriptions, and consulting friends, family, and consumer/influencer reviews before they buy. They want to know what they’re purchasing, that the quality is in line with their expectations, that shipping is seamless, and that customer service is first-class. Further data from the same study shows that 69% of shoppers changed their minds on a purchase due to a poor product description. With the average time between a product search and an Amazon purchase being around 26 days, consumers are doing their research before they spend. 

The full review ecosystem

With 98% of shoppers consulting reviews during their research, brands no longer have the luxury of ignoring this information. 

With the entire review ecosystem at your fingertips — reviews from your brand.com, syndicate sites like BazaarVoice and PowerReviews, and major retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Target, available through the Channel Signal platform – you can see what consumers see. You can learn what is driving your revenue or hurting it. 

So, what makes a shopper take a product off the digital shelf and purchase it? Reviews.