• Aussie shoppers embrace e-commerce with convenient delivery options and competitive pricing at the forefront, with 25% using two-day shipping in the last year
  • Local shoppers continue to only buy from brands that they trust with 38% saying their trust in reviews has stayed the same y-o-y
  • Whopping 72% of Aussie shoppers trust online product reviews

Sydney, 22 April 2020: The leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, Bazaarvoice, has today released its annual Shopper Experience Index (SEI), which highlights e-commerce is primed to accelerate growth in the Australian market.  It also indicates that trust among local consumers is paramount, and Australian consumers, now more than ever, have a big say in what comes next in their customer experience, all against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian consumers have come to expect two vital things from Australian retailers, convenient delivery options and competitive pricing, with more options now a must for shoppers. In the past year, 25% of Australian consumers had used two-day shipping, 30% used a buy online, pick-up-in-store option, while 18% had tried a subscription service.

Further fuelling the shopping journey is user-generated content, Australian consumers are wary of shopping experiences that feel one-sided. They want to trust brands and retailers and the shopping experience to feel merely a one-sided transaction, and a whopping 72% of Australian shoppers trust online product reviews.

Trust is truly at the heart of Australian shoppers’ decision making, as they want to feel secure in their choice to purchase, with most shoppers only buying from brands that they trust. Indeed, 38% of Australian shoppers say their trust in other shopper reviews has stayed the same, while 17% say that their trust in reviews has dropped. Australian shoppers are also concerned when the review comes from a brand itself with 40% of shoppers stating that fake reviews from a brand would cause them to completely lose trust in it.

Kate Musgrove, Bazaarvoice’s Managing Director APAC, says: “With so many goods readily available for shoppers at the click of a keyboard, the power sits with them. As a result, retailers have no choice but to be nimble and adapt to ever-changing shopper habits. On the flipside this can be empowering for brands as customers are prepared to share openly in reviews what they want and don’t want, and, if acted on, this can have a positive impact on the product and overall customer experience.”

When it comes to fake reviews, the number one factor that makes Australian consumers suspicious, is when they see multiple reviews that all have similar wording (57%). Followed by review content that does not match the product (53%), bad grammar and/or misspellings (38%) and 36% are concerned when they see an overwhelming amount of five star or positive reviews.

Ms Musgrove adds: “In today’s world, the shopper is very much front and centre as they are able to pick and choose what and who they find credible. Nowadays, shoppers are increasingly savvy and acutely aware of fake reviews.  Indeed, they believe they can spot a review written by a bot, someone who has been paid to write a review, or someone who has never used the product.

“This means that Australian brands and retailers have to embrace authenticity and re-evaluate how they approach brand advocacy.”

Looking ahead, it is evident that consumers control the future of the product page, especially when it comes to ratings, reviews and Q&As as well as customer photos. Indeed, 31% of Australian shoppers said reviews where most important to them when it comes to product range, with 25% stating product page descriptions and professional product photos significantly impacted their purchasing decision. Interestingly, Australians were also more likely to rely on Q&A features on a product’s page to shape their purchasing decision.

Australians are generously providing their feedback, which has led to explosive growth in the number of reviews shared by Australian shoppers, with reviews for brands and retailers rising by 11% in the past 12 months across the Bazaarvoice Network.

“Bazaarvoice’s 2020 research also highlights that retail partners have experienced a significant lift in conversion this year of 138% across our global network when shoppers engage with reviews. It is evident that Australian shoppers trust and rely on other shoppers, but what they really want is to see that product being put to use which is what they can get from UGC,” she concluded.

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