Editor’s note: Thomas Fandrich is co-founder of insights platform quantilope and Koen Pauwels is distinguished professor of marketing at Northeastern University.

Product popularity can be measured in a number of ways including online search trends, Net Promoter Scores and product reviews. Each presents a unique view of not only your product’s performance but insights into who your consumers are, where they are located and their sentiment toward your brand. However, most marketers and insight managers can attest that the most important measurement, especially as it relates to the C-suite, is sales performance.

Of the multiple strategies brands and other organizations can use to track their popularity, reviews are particularly useful for enhancing a product’s sales performance on different platforms, retailers and across varying regions. 

On a global scale, customer reviews are the leading force influencing whether or not a consumer will buy or abandon their online shopping cart. Seventy percent of global consumers trust online reviews more than advertising and product messaging, especially when it comes to products they haven’t purchased before. And the numbers don’t lie. The No. 1 best-selling product in Amazon’s Home & Kitchen department has over 60,000 reviews with an average 4.4-star rating (at time of writing). Comparatively, Sephora’s best-selling product (with a fraction of Amazon’s customer base) has over 14,000 reviews and an average four-star rating (at time of writing).

These are unique examples as the majority of products don’t get much beyond 50 reviews and have varying scores. However, our research measuring the impact of user ratings and reviews on mobile app purchases provides insight into how consumers across regions react differently to reviews and how managers can adjust their approach to managing their reviews to promote sales accordingly.*

The report tracks consumers ...