PowerReviews Market Trends Snapshot – June 2021


eCommerce purchase volumes continue to remain stable

Review submissions, length, and product sentiment remain stable

In our Post-Holiday snapshot, we highlighted a giant surge in review volumes – largely to be expected given seasonal purchase increases (hence the increase in December and January).

Since then, review submission has been unsurprisingly consistent given online purchase volumes mirrored this trend.

Review length and sentiment continues to be stable

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, review length and sentiment (in the form of average rating) also remains flat. This has been the case since we started our analysis over a year ago.

So although Covid’s impact on ecommerce generally has been transformational, it has not affected the content of reviews submitted by consumers.

Reviews continue to drive purchase more than pre-Covid

Over the last few monthly snapshots, we have included a deep dive into the impact of review content on the buyer journey – paying particularly close attention to year-on-year comparisons.

The headline from this update: Reviews are continuing to have more of an impact on the purchase than pre-Covid.

To recap, the charts in this section highlight the percentage of online shoppers who go onto purchase after they’ve interacted with review content (i.e. searched, filtered, clicked to extend the review from preview to view entire content etc.)

Although down from a pre-Holiday 2020 high of 5.25%, this figure for April and May 2021 was consistently at around 4.7% (note the 2020 line highlighted below shows the beginning of Covid, when all bets were off).

This represents an 18% increase on the roughly 4% figure that was the norm pre-Covid (as evidenced in early March 2020 below).

In summary, we noted the following clear trends:

  • Online purchases stable
  • Review submission levels and sentiment trends flat
  • Review impact on purchase journey up 18% pre-Covid.

As the extreme ecommerce trends evident at the start of the pandemic fade into the rear view mirror, we will be publishing a market trends update every other month – meaning our next report will be published in August.

Special thanks to our friends at PowerReviews for their insights on this topic.
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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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