One of the key findings for the 55 brands in L2’s recently released Digital IQ Index: Beauty was that customer reviews on Beauty sites have finally reached a tipping point. In the 2010 Beauty Index, only 41 percent of brands had user reviews on their product pages. Fast forward to 2011, and 69 percent of brands now have reviews.
A recent social media report from Nielsen and NM Incite helps demonstrate why so many companies have added reviews to their sites. Among social media users (80 percent of active U.S. Internet users), consumer ratings and reviews are the number one and two most-preferred sources for product and service information. Sixty-three percent of social media users list consumer ratings as their preferred source for product information and 62 percent prefer consumer reviews.
Assuming the use of consumer ratings and reviews continues to increase, brands will have to find ways to differentiate. “Gifted” brand Smashbox breaks the mold with its Social Shop which uses Facebook Connect to stream real-time product “likes” and reviews directly onto the site.