Bad reviews conversion and why upselling is more effective than cross-selling online

Social commerce company Reevoo has released research that suggests bad reviews are good for business.

Bad reviews improve conversion by 67%

The company found that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see anything negative at all.

Not only this, but shoppers who go out of their way to read bad reviews convert 67% more than the average consumer.

Reevoo CEO and founder Richard Anson said that though this may seem counter-intuitive, negative user-generated content is actually one of the most effective conversion tools. 

This is because shoppers who seek out bad reviews are highly engaged with their pre-purchase research, viewing almost four times as many products as the average visitor to a site, and staying considerably longer.

The company discovered that three times as many consumers actively seek out and read negative user-generated content as look for positive content: negative reviews are even more popular than ‘most recent reviews’, or ‘reviews from people like me’.  

Figures quoted are from data collected across Reevoo’s network of 150 UK and international partners and from, the company’s consumer website, as well as from independent consumer surveys.

The results contrast with a study last year, which found that reading between one and three negative reviews would deter the majority of customers, though much depends on whether there are any good reviews to outweight the bad.

Upselling is 20 times more effective than cross-selling online

Upselling on e-commerce sites performs 20 times better than cross-selling, according to new research from PredictiveIntent.

The statistics show that upselling, in which visitors are shown similar but more expensive products than the one in view, drives over 4% of sales compared to just 0.2% of sales driven by cross-sales tactics (such as displaying ‘people who bought this item also bought’).

However the data, which was collated from the aggregate of PredictiveIntent’s clients, shows that cross-selling can drive sales by 3% when shown on the check-out page.

By the way, one of the most effective tools for creating conversion-friendly upsells and cross-sells is market basket analysis. It allows analyzing which products customers tend to buy in a combination with others. As a result, you'll have a comprehensive analysis with the most frequent combinations of products, which you can offer as sets or upsell/cross-sell deals.​

PRWD head of usability Paul Rouke said that there is a significant opportunity for retailers to increase their average order size by providing more intelligent cross-sells through the browsing and buying journey.

Techniques our clients are adopting include incorporating the customer ratings of products when they are being presented, and clearly separating out what are ‘upsells’ and what are ‘cross-sells’.”

He added that another key technique for driving sales is keeping consumers on the product page after adding to the bag. This encourages customers to stay in ‘buying mode’ rather than ‘checkout mode’, so providing intelligent, clear and customer driven cross-sells on product pages is still one of the primary pages to cross-sell. 

One thing to be clear on is ensuring that the customer is clear at their shopping bag what the total cost of their order will be, including standard delivery at the very least, because if consumers are entering checkout not being clear on this then the chances of them being happy to add a suddenly presented cross-sell to their order is extremely small.”

A well-designed checkout process is important to prevent dropped sales; fashion retailer ASOS was able to reduce its basket abandonment rate by 50% by redesigning its checkout experience, while HMV is still making elementary errors.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Related Blog Posts