July 15, 2010, 3:38 PM

Ratings and reviews prove popular during site searches

Top-rated products is the most popular refinement option at online retailer Ergo In Demand.

Ergo In Demand, an online retailer of ergonomic office furniture and accessories, is using the ratings and reviews functionality it recently implemented from PowerReviews Inc. to do more than simply let shoppers see what others have to say about a product.

Chad Goldsmith, the retailer’s president, says the company also monitors how visitors interact with the ratings and reviews feature to build out its product sorting and refinement options, and merchandise the best-reviewed products more effectively.

“We are seeing reviews have a major impact. As soon as PowerReviews went in, we saw that the top sorting options and refinement options had to do with reviews,” Goldsmith says.  Currently, rating status is the third most popular option for the initial sort on search results, following price and product name, he says.

The retailer made  “minimum rating”  a refinement option on the left-hand navigation that appears on the page after shoppers have done a product search,  allowing them to choose to see only five-star rated products, four star-rated products, and so on.  That option has become the number one option for refining search results, Goldsmith says.

Based on the popularity of ratings and reviews as a sorting option, Ergo in Demand also has created a special landing page for top-rated products across all categories, which is featured as one of a series of promotions that rotate through a central pane at the top of its home page.

Product SKUs that have been reviewed tend to have higher conversions, Ergo In Demand has learned. For example, sales of a top-rated product in its ergonomic keyboard category increased by 35% after several consumers reviewed that product, Goldsmith says. 

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