April 24, 2008, 12:00 AM

U.K. online reviews, as in U.S., are overwhelmingly positive, study finds

88% of reviews on U.K. web sites are positive, compared to 81% in the U.S., according to a Bazaarvoice study—but U.K. reviewers are even more prolific in recommending products.

Online consumers in the United Kingdom who post product or store reviews online are even more inclined than their U.S counterparts to make those reviews positive – with 88% of online reviews written in the U.K. favorable, compared to 81% in the U.S, a study from ratings and reviews services vendor Bazaarvoice finds.

Reviews in the analysis of more than 34,000 reviews posted across 12 Bazaarvoice U.K. client sites were judged positive if they recommended a product or store by giving it four or five stars out of a possible five stars. As was the case in an earlier KellerFay Group study of U.S. consumers who submitted online reviews, online reviewers in the U.K. were principally motivated by the desire to aid in the shopping decisions of others. However, U.K. reviewers were more prolific than online reviewers in the U.S.; compared to U.S. reviewers, 80% more U.K. reviewers had written six or more online reviews.

The findings suggest that social commerce applications and other efforts to connect with brand loyalists in the U.K. have an equal or greater chance of success than they do in the U.S., according to Bazaarvoice.

“U.K. consumers are highly positive and engaged online reviewers when provided with the opportunity to air their views,” says Sam Decker, chief marketing officer at Bazaarvoice. “As we’ve seen in the U.S., social technologies like ratings and reviews are becoming a competitive must-have for online retailers who want customers to make a purchase decision on their site.”

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