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How Ann Summers used product reviews to increase sales by 230%

Thursday, September 26, 2019
ann summers trustpilot case study

Please note that this case study was first published in 2019. As of 2022, Ann Summers is no longer a paying customer.

Ann Summers is a British multinational retailer company specialising in sex toys and lingerie. The brand has over 120 stores in the UK and a reported revenue of £110 million in 2017/2018.

Ann Summers started using Trustpilot reviews to collect valuable feedback and learn from consumer insights. Indeed, the team sees product reviews as one of the most effective marketing tools out there to collect feedback, learn from customers, and improve their products to grow the business in the long run.

We recently spoke with Ann Summers team members Karen Hitt and Laura Whittaker, Senior Online Merchandiser and Senior Online Trading & Marketing Manager, to better understand how the business learns from its Trustpilot product reviews, and how the team leverages feedback to boost their marketing efforts and increase revenue.

Product Reviews can increase conversions up to 230%

AnnSummers Product Reviews on page example

Ann Summers recently carried out some research to better understand how influential their reviews were in their customers' purchasing decisions.

To do so, they looked at a selection of products, checked each product’s star rating, and analysed how the rating score impacted the conversion rate for that specific product.

Here’s what they found:

AnnSummers Product Reviews Impact on Conversion Rate

As seen in the graphic above, the lowest conversion rate observed was 1.44%. This was seen on products with no product reviews and no star rating. Overall, Ann Summers observed an exponential increase in conversion rate as the product star rating increased too. The higher the product rating, the higher the conversion rate.

The highest conversion rate was seen on products rated 5 stars, meaning a 5-star rating resulted in a whopping 230% conversion increase!

By testing the impact of online reviews on their consumers’ buying decision, Ann Summers found out how much of an impact product reviews placed on product pages can have on their customer journey, as well as on their conversion rate and overall business performance.

Going from no reviews to a 1-star rating increases conversions by 76%

Interestingly, we found that products with a 1-star review still had a higher conversion rate than products with no rating at all.
Laura Whittaker, Senior Online Trading & Marketing Manager at Ann Summers

Unsurprisingly, the higher the star rating, the higher the chances to convert. However, interestingly, products with 1-star reviews still had a higher progression rate than products with no rating at all.

This really demonstrates how much Ann Summers’ customers value reviews in their purchasing journey, and how much of an impact product reviews can have when shopping online.

AnnSummers Product Reviews Aggregated Conversion Increase

The incremental increase from the different star ratings seen in the graphic above really highlights how big of an impact product reviews can have in the consumer journey.

Going from no product reviews at all to having a 1-star rating increases the conversion rate by 76%, and a 2-star rating can boost conversions by 149%!

This proves, once again, how important it is to provide customers with product reviews throughout the buying journey, regardless of the overall rating.

Interestingly, going from a 4 to a 5-star rating only increases conversions by 12%, but when looking at the graphic above, the incremental gains stack up to an amazing 230% conversion increase for products with 5-star reviews versus products without no reviews at all.

Ann Summers has an amazing 4.5 average star rating on their products. According to the graphics above, this means the brand should see a +218% increase in conversions from just showcasing product reviews on their product pages. Not too shabby!

We believe the numbers speak for themselves: Trustpilot Product Reviews can be an extremely powerful tool to increase your conversion rate, sales and overall marketing performance, and help customers make more informed decisions throughout the buying journey.

How Ann Summers use reviews to improve and grow

Ann Summers’ mission is to provide their customers with the best products and customer experience they can possibly deliver. To do just that, they are continuously working on improving their products and user experience with the help of consumer insights.

One of the feedback sources their departments use to collect consumer insights are product reviews, which allow the company to highlight what works well, as well as the areas of development. This helps Ann Summers identify ways to grow and better the business.

Ann Summers’ customer service team also regularly looks at all their reviews and forwards the bad feedback to the buyers. The customer service team is in charge of flagging the overall trends, and labeling the reviews to pick up the most popular keywords. This gives them a better understanding of how the products perform individually.

It’s very important for us to provide our customers with the best experience and products, and therefore we’re continually trying to improve. The insights from products reviews help us do just that.
Karen Hitt, Senior Online Merchandiser at Ann Summers
Product analytics

For example, the company recently found that some customers had trouble turning their products on and off, or couldn’t find where the charging point was. The product reviews helped them address this issue. They now offer product videos and instruction manuals to help out their customers.

Ann Summers also uses reviews to evaluate their third-party products and ensure they continue to sell the best products possible moving forward.

Using reviews throughout their marketing

The Ann Summers’ marketing team uses Trustpilot reviews too. Indeed, they leverage their reviews and Trustpilot rating throughout all of their marketing channels. Since implementing reviews on their email channel, the marketing team has seen a higher engagement from all of their email subscribers.

The company really believes that their online reviews help them back up what they say about their own products. Since using Trustpilot, the business has seen a positive impact from adding their reviews and ratings as an overlay to their product images both in the product list and on the product page.

product reviews on page
Ann Summers - Product Reviews in email
ann summers social proof product page
Our customers greatly value products reviews in their purchasing journey. In fact, Trustpilot product reviews have increased our conversions up to 230%.
Laura Whittaker, Senior Online Trading & Marketing Manager at Ann Summers

With so much commitment to Trustpilot Product Reviews, Ann Summers is securing a trusted, transparent future.

Isn’t it time you joined them?