Nowadays we are all used to online shopping. One way or another we’ve bought a product from places like Amazon, booked a place to stay while on holidays on Airbnb or booking, or done online grocery shopping in our local supermarkets. Before we decide on the product or stay, we compare options: we look at photos, descriptions and, of course, ratings and reviews. These last two hold a very important part when deciding what (or who) to choose. We all want 5-star products and services, right? Or is there something more? Think about it for a second. When choosing, lets say, a photographer for their wedding, does a couple deem more important the rating out of 5 or the number of reviews?
CheckoutSmart, a company which specialises in online grocery shopping, performed a survey of 3.710 shoppers, and found out that when the average ratings of two similar products differ by as much as 0,3 (a 4,2 vs a 4,5), the number or reviews is much more important when deciding a product than the highest rating. Products with more reviews are chosen twice as often as products with higher and similar ratings. Shocking, right?
At Zankyou we decided to ascertain whether this also happens when organising a wedding. We consulted brides and grooms and looked at our own internal data, matching number of information requests relating to number of reviews vs ratings. The result was very similar: while providers with no reviews receive far fewer requests, couples are more interested in choosing top providers with the most reviews (they will choose them 65% of the time). Increasing the number and quality of reviews will make you close more weddings, it doesn’t matter if your average rating decreases.
Recency in reviews is also another important point couples look. As CheckoutSmart found, the most important factors for users when comparing and deciding between similar products or providers are as follows: average rating, number of reviews and the recency of those reviews (hence the ‘quality’). So try to have at least a couple of new reviews each new wedding season.
Of course, average rating is still very important. When deciding between two options online, it appears to be a psychological barrier between some numbers (for example, a 3.. and a 4..), but between a difference from, let’s say, a 4,2 to a 4,6, number of reviews is very important.
What is the magic number for reviews? It may vary depending on how well your competitors are doing, but we have found that is is between 15-20. If you have less than 20 reviews, and your competitor has 20+, 2 out of 3 users might choose them even if the have a lower rating. Remember: recommendations sell. Above all, it’s important to remember that even if you reach these numbers, you must continue to achieve new reviews due to the ‘freshness’ factor (remember, couples do look at how recent an opinion is).
To add more reviews on your Zankyou profile you can use our online tool which sends a personalised message to email lists you create of couples which you have worked with, asking them for recommendations. Remind them that for their opinions they get tickets to win our 3.000 EUR raffle.
By Lina López.