Simonkucher : The Rating Economy - Consumer Survey

Ratings are on the rise – but why?

In the “rating economy,” customers are given more transparency over a product’s real value before they reach the point of purchase. In the past, consumers had to trust a company’s promises, now they can get 1001 opinions from their peers. Thanks to this, consumers are emancipating themselves from the power of companies and their marketing messages, and are gaining more and more power themselves. And in order to foster this development, we rate.

 

71% of respondents think ratings are (very) important

People give ratings because they think they are important. While rating importance varies considerably across countries, there is a clear correlation with age and residence: The younger and the more urban people are, the higher the importance they place on ratings. This correlation is consistent across the entire survey: The younger, urban population is more inclined to use ratings, draws more value out of them and is more likely to put ratings above brand affiliation when making a purchase.

Importance of ratings


 

47% of consumers check, 33% place ratings regularly or always

People give ratings because the like to have that information readily available. 76% of the participants have already placed a rating at least once, and nearly half of them check them regularly before purchasing. In most countries, the number of people who actively give ratings on a regular basis is clearly lower than the passive “consumers” of ratings, but we see some countries (China, UAE, Singapore) where giving ratings seems to have become as or more important than checking ratings regularly. It will be interesting to find out in the years ahead, if this ratio will become more balanced as giving ratings may become more convenient, or just more of a standard behavior.

Consumers checking vs. placing ratings


 

Consuming ratings is more popular than actively rating purchases across all industries. Again, consumer electronics and travel & hospitality are leading the field: Here, many more consumers are checking or rating products on a regular basis. This difference across industries is very consistent in the entire survey. Consumer electronics and travel & hospitality are by far the most mature industries when it comes to ratings. Not surprisingly: Tripadvisor has been one of the first relevant rating platforms, and Amazon and other big online commerce platforms with a massive number of customers are displaying ratings very prominently.

Consumers checking vs. placing ratings (overall)


 

Ratings are triggered by extreme experiences

A very positive purchase experience is the biggest trigger for giving ratings, followed by a very negative experience. This result is at first glance surprising, as common belief is that mostly dissatisfied customers would use ratings to rant and vent. However, in case of very negative experiences, the share of consumers who “can’t be bothered” to put any more effort and time into giving a rating is clearly higher than in all other cases.

Surprisingly, the expectation of a convenient rating process is the third biggest factor in motivating consumers to leave a review. This is a possible starting point for companies that are setting up or improve their rating processes: A really good user experience throughout the rating process may significantly increase the number of ratings a product gets.

 

Ranking of most important factors when making a purchase (overall)