Using online reviews to help with your Christmas shopping

Have you got Amazon or Play open in another tab on your browser, brimming full of gifts for your loved ones? If so, this Christmas our searching tip would most definitely have to be: filter by customer reviews.

amazon customer review filters
Filtering by online reviews on Amazon

Look at the amount of room that Amazon give to customer reviews within their search results – it illustrates Amazon’s core brand value of consumer feedback. When filtering on any shopping website that has this feature, this should be your last filtering click.

Google also place heavy emphasis on consumer feedback through their seller ratings on Google Product Listing Ads (GPLA). As far as independent aggregation of retail content goes, this is pretty powerful information for the shopper to have. Google Adwords allow advertisers to cite online reviews in their ad extensions as well as the population of seller ratings – they know that such an advancement could make their incredibly powerful advertising even more effective.

Google Shopping seller reviews
Google Shopping seller reviews

Finally, Apple’s App Store prioritise review information on app details pages within the header (star ratings) and the tabbed navigation (see below). The app store reviews seem to be short which seems to suit the typical online review user but there is a clear emphasis that whatever people feedback is vital to the buying/downloading decision.

App store online reviews
App store online reviews

Approximately 20% of Christmas shopping is done online, with some surveys reporting as high as 50-60% in the UK and US. Currently, Christmas shopping in the UK is reportedly higher year on year. These three examples exemplify how customer reviews create revisits, word of mouth and sales.

So there we have it. Google, Apple and Amazon have clear online review strategies. Yes, they have mega brand / online visitor status but it doesn’t change the fact that if you haven’t got an online review strategy for 2014, you now know what your business new year’s resolution will be!

This article was provided by Duncan Colman, digital advisor for