March 15, 2011, 10:17 AM

U.K. online retailers do a poor job with reviews and recommendations, a study suggests

A survey finds strong consumer demand in the U.K. for more product information from friends.

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Online retailers in the United Kingdom fail to provide enough product reviews and recommendations despite strong consumer demand for those features, suggest survey results released today by EpiServer, which sells content management and e-commerce platform services.

The study is based on a survey of 2,000 U.K. online shoppers conducted in December, along with an accompanying study early this year of 25 U.K. online retailers that are also part of the Hitwise Top 50 Hot Shops List, which includes the most popular sites as measured by number of visits.

88% of survey respondents say they want product reviews on e-commerce sites, but only 42% of the studied sites provide reviews. 80% of respondents want easy access to product recommendations, but only 20% of the retailers provide them.

About 20% of retailers enable shoppers to share products and links via social networks. But 58% of consumers want more information about products that other shoppers had bought. 

“This research shows consumers are not receiving the experience they expect when shopping online,” says a spokeswoman for EpiServer. “U.K. retailers need to develop their web sites to provide more engaging, social features and content that will keep consumers on a site until a point of conversion or entice them to return if they leave the site.”

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