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Big-ticket retailers should introduce online customer experience review systems

Nearly 80% of high street UK retailers who sell big-ticket items including computers, white goods and furniture, have no online review mechanism in place to rate customer service, despite it being a valuable way for consumers to check the quality of delivery and aftersales service.

Meanwhile 33% do not have a system in place for customers to publicly review purchased products, according to a review of 52 of the UK's largest big-ticket retailers by customer experience specialists Aura Corporation.

Managing director of Aura, Mike Trotman, said: “Online reviews and five-star ratings systems are commonplace when you buy a car or go on holiday, but for other big consumer expenditures it seems there's a notable lack of opportunity for public commentary. You might not check reviews before buying a tube of toothpaste, but you'll probably want to before committing hundreds of pounds on a new fridge."

“Considering how online retailers like Amazon and eBay are built around their review systems, UK retailers seem to be behind the curve in their digital presence. In particular, very few allow customers to rate the service experience – either in-store or online – which is just as important as price to many shoppers.”

Despite the recent news that the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) is investigating online reviews, nearly 40% of retailers who offer a system to review products do so through an in-house embedded system which are not independently verified, making it easier to leave fake reviews.

Trotman continued: “Equally, the lack of independent verification among many retailers could come back to haunt them in light of the CMA investigation. Independent verification is the best way to shut down fake reviews and endorsements and makes the service trustworthy: when the customer feedback is verified, shoppers know that each review is genuine.”