Tip: Boost sales by making sure your first review is positive

Reviews are important — no surprise there. But your first review is even more important than you might think. If you plan to sell on a marketplace, boost sales by incentivizing your biggest supporters to be the first to purchase.

A recent study analyzed product ratings across multiple marketplaces and showed that a negative first review begets more negative reviews. This, in turn, leads to fewer sales, which leads to fewer reviews. In fact, the study showed that 12 months after an initial negative review, the average rating was .29 stars lower, with 36.49 fewer reviews. The opposite was true when the first review was positive. It should be noted that the research was done on physical consumer products, but it seems likely that the effect would take place with other types of products too. So do what you can to make sure your first review is good (but be ethical about it). The obvious solution is to have a great product. Rather than releasing an MVP on a marketplace, consider using the MVP to vet the product beforehand. When you release it on a marketplace, target people who are strong supporters of your brand (e.g. your email list) right away to make sure that they're the first to review it. You can even incentivize quick purchases from these supporters with limited-time offers. And don't be afraid to gently ask for reviews in your communications.

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    1. 2

      Thank you! This is a great analysis and summary of the tip!

  1. 1

    A variant of the Broken Windows Theory

    1. 1

      I hadn't heard of that before but I looked it up — interesting stuff 👍

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