If consumers were to choose between a marketer and a fellow consumer’s voice, they would go for the latter every time. Online reviews resonate with curious shoppers because they are credible, impartial opinions from previous buyers, whether for a pastry shop on Yelp, an upcoming trip to Sicily on Trip Advisor or a new espresso maker on Amazon.
Hence, 93 percent of new online buyers seek reviews before settling a purchase (Podium). So let’s probe into more reasons why online customer reviews are the ultimate salesperson for eCommerce.
#1 Online Reviews Address Consumer Hesitation
Globally, 89 percent or nine of 10 consumers look over reviews before making a purchase (Trustpilot). As with any relationship, trust is fundamental between brands and consumers. When showcased, a mix of positive and negative online reviews is a great tool that brands can use to address any doubt.
Strangely, flaws in ratings seem to have a more positive influence over online buyers. While the goal is to bag many 5 star ratings, reviews with less-than-perfect ratings convey “authenticity.” As such, perfect 5 star reviews can come across as genuine paid reviews and tend to prolong the purchase journey.
#2 Online Reviews Jazz Up Your eCommerce Business Strategy
Consumers are all swamped with messaging from countless brands these days. Thus, it’s challenging to establish a long-lasting relationship with shoppers — or simply catch their attention — if you can’t relate to them genuinely.
To fully earn their trust, your approach must prioritize your customers. Your eCommerce business strategy and overall marketing efforts should reflect that customer’s voice is most important. User-generated content (UGC) within online reviews helps you accomplish that. So start tweaking your marketing initiatives and add an authentic and persuasive human touch with UGC.
#3 Online Reviews Bolster Your Search Engine Optimization
Google will extract, highlight and feature certain reviews from your website if they are formatted correctly in HTML. Thus, your products or services can be displayed prominently in the search results virtually for free! This helps Google provide users with the best available results for their queries.
Customer feedback or online reviews are also a great source of keywords that online buyers actually use. Therefore, copywriters and marketers can strategically communicate with their target market by focusing on the words and relevant subject matter which highly resonate with consumers.
#4 Online Reviews Open the Door to Customer Communication
Customer communication refers to how a brand engages with its customers through various messaging techniques. If you implement an effective customer communication strategy, customer feedback is a gateway to engagement and retention.
Make sure that you’re present and ready to engage in every touchpoint of customer contact, from beginning to end of their journey. These touchpoints can be your ads, social media page, ratings and reviews or your own website.
Where To Showcase Your Online Reviews To Generate Sales
We’ve established what you can expect from online reviews and why online customer reviews are the ultimate salesperson for eCommerce. Here’s how you can strategically place them to give your market the social proof they need and eliminate any doubt they might have throughout their purchase journey:
With just one review on product pages, conversion rates increase 3.5 times (bazaarvoice:). To generate sales, include reviews beneath each product description on the appropriate product pages so that visitors may read opinions from your previous customers they can relate with.
About 55 percent of social media users use platforms to browse product ratings and reviews (GlobalWebIndex). Thus, it is crucial to establish a solid online presence on relevant social media platforms. First, identify the platforms your target market uses the most, then incorporate them into your eCommerce business strategy.
Dedicated Reviews Section or Page
Ideally, you should place the reviews next to the specifications and description of the item on the product page. Or, make them easily accessible by including a “Reviews” link where you aggregate all reviews. Include all the reviews and do not filter out negative ones to promote credibility.
Abandoned Cart Follow-Up Emails
About 70 percent of online buyers abandon their carts without checking out (Baymard Institute). This can be due to various reasons, such as a lack of trust and social proof. Featuring reviews in your abandoned cart emails can speak to buyers’ doubts and encourage them to push through the purchase.
How To Get Customer Reviews or Customer Feedback
An unhappy customer is more eager to leave you a review than a satisfied customer. Hence, knowing how to get customer reviews, especially positive ones, is crucial.
Make It Easy
A customer is more inclined to leave a review if it’s an uncomplicated process. Understandably, no customer would want to go through additional hoops once they have received the product. So keep the process straightforward and remove any potential snags by:
- Providing a 1-5 star ratings scale.
- Requiring as few fields to fill as possible.
- Prompting them with open-ended questions.
Most customers need a little nudge before leaving a review. Make sure to wait and give your customers enough time to actually use the product before asking. However, don’t wait too long because customer feedback is best solicited when the product is still at the top of your customer’s mind. You can ask for reviews post-purchase through:
- Social media posts.
Incentivize Reviews – But Sparingly
If offered an incentive, 73 percent of consumers say they’d be driven to leave a review. Incentivized or paid reviews can only work if you maintain transparency and ask for honest feedback. Here’s how to get customer reviews through incentives:
- Discount on next purchase
- Free shipping coupon
- Loyalty points
Don’t Suppress Negative Reviews
Surprisingly, negative reviews help establish brand authenticity; thus, they are an expectation and not an option. Consumers specifically seek out negative reviews to gain different perspectives. When you receive negative reviews:
- Don’t ignore or delete them.
- Take the conversion offline when necessary.
- Use them to improve customer service.
Respond to Reviews
Not every review is going to be a ringing endorsement of your business. Regardless of whether you agree with what was said, how you respond to criticism reveals a lot about your company’s standards and can prevent or encourage new customers to leave a review. So even if you receive 1 or 5 star reviews, make sure to:
- Say thank you.
- Maintain professionalism.
- Be committed to resolving issues.
Look Into Online Review Features
Genuine reviews typically mention precise details and unusual encounters that not every client would have. When it comes to convincing potential customers to buy and encouraging current customers to leave feedback, these extra features can strengthen the credibility of your online reviews:
- Verified purchase tagging system
- Required character count
- Video testimonials
Get Expert Services
An online reputation management (ORM) consultant can not only help you to collect reviews but also generate sales with them too. They know the ins and outs of ORM and can help you maximize your online presence with reviews, including video testimonials.
Video testimonials are social proof that has grown popular among consumers, even more than text reviews, said Tim Clarke, Rize Reviews’ senior reputation manager. An ORM expert can help you:
- Monitor every customer feedback.
- Improve customer service.
- Manage eCommerce product reviews.
- Secure your listings on the top directories.
Forge Trusting Relationships With Online Buyers
Whether you want to meet consumers’ doubts, supercharge your eCommerce business strategy or simply collect and showcase your reviews, Rize Reviews is here for you. Rize Reviews is a team of ORM specialists that has helped many businesses foster better relationships with their customers. Get in touch with our team to start your online reviews success.