Do you know what is actually turning your online shoppers into buyers? Are big images of your product more important that short video clips? Does a review from another shopper more likely to convince the shopper to buy, or is it because the product is currently a trending bestseller that the shopper makes the purchase?

A new study recently published by UPS and comScore identifies the most influential content for online shoppers:

  1. Product Reviews (73%)
  2. Q&A (48%)
  3. Product and brand videos (47%)
  4. Photos of consumers using products (42%)
  5. Communities/ forums (31%)
  6. “Trending Now” products (30%)
  7. Retailer’s blog (28%)
  8. Podcasts (22%)

Plus Other Important Purchase Decision Factors for Online Shoppers

The study also identifies other important factors in the path to purchase:

  1. Detailed product information (73%)
  2. Retailer’s reputation (66%)
  3. Return policy (62%)
  4. Multiple images or ability to zoom (59%)

More Info on How Reviews Affect Online Purchases

Did you know that not all reviews are equal in their ability to influence an online purchase? The study found that the relationship of the reviewer and where the review is posted matters:

  1. Reviews from marketplace (65%)
  2. Reviews from friends and family (55%)
  3. Reviews from social media (29%)

Take Advantage of Other Social Media Influencers

Finally the study also inquired as to what types of  posts respondents are most likely to view on Facebook:

  1. Promotions (47%)
  2. New product announcements (38%)
  3. Sweepstakes (38%)

Key Takeaways for Online Retailers

  • Make sure you start with a strong reputation as a retailer and have a decent return policy that makes your online shoppers comfortable with making a purchase.
  • Start with the basics and make sure you have detailed product descriptions and all the information online shoppers will need.
  • Support your product descriptions with FAQs or Q&A type content. Anticipate the questions about the product that your visitors will want answered before they buy.
  • Add other forms of media including pictures and videos that really showcase the product in use.
  • Be sure to collect reviews from customers once they’ve purchased and used the product and consider a “refer to a friend” type promotion that encourages buyers to share their purchase with others.
  • Integrate a related products or popular products feed into your pages to help increase sales.
  • Use social media to promote new products and specials, as well as contests.

You can read about the entire study over at