CompUSA finds customer reviews important in study

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Eighty-one percent of CompUSA shoppers consider customer ratings and reviews important when they are researching or planning a purchase says a Bazaarvoice and iPerceptions survey.

The findings are based on feedback and comments gathered by Web analytics firm iPerceptions from more than 2,000 CompUSA online shoppers who purchased at www.compusa.com during the month of August 2006.

"CompUSA offers over 20,000 products online," said Al Hurlebaus, senior director of e-commerce at CompUSA, Dallas. "Customer ratings and reviews are absolutely critical to helping our customers choose the right products from this assortment and for attracting new shoppers to our site."

A recent study by JupiterResearch found that the number of online buyers who cite customer ratings and reviews as the most useful shopping site feature has more than doubled from 2005 to 2006. JupiterResearch also found that online shoppers who find user-generated product ratings and reviews useful are heavier online spenders than average online buyers.

Surveyed shoppers indicated that both positive and negative reviews helped them make the right purchase decision for their needs. Some shoppers even stated that they consult ratings and reviews before making every online purchase.

Repeat customers considered ratings and reviews more important than one-time buyers. Shoppers who indicated that they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to make a purchase considered ratings and reviews more important to their decision process than those who were unlikely to purchase. Younger shoppers consider ratings and reviews more important than older shoppers do.

These results will help the electronics retailer target its business.

" We've seen the great data on ratings and reviews from the analysts this year, and we are now able to develop an understanding of how ratings and reviews influence the decisions of our own customers," Mr. Hurlebaus said.

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