When you're looking to buy a new product, do you ever read online reviews before making your purchase? If you're like most people, the answer is probably "yes." A product's fate in the market can be determined by the star ratings on a business' website. And there's a good reason for that. Product reviews help consumers make informed decisions, and they help retailers determine which products to sell.
According to Invsep, 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business and 88% of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Fera says businesses with more than 9 recent reviews (posted within the past 90 days) earn 52% more than average.
Reviews are vital for maintaining a positive reputation, increasing sales opportunities, and driving brand recognition. Besides providing valuable information about products, reviews can be incorporated into your ecommerce businesses' marketing strategy.
By leveraging user-generated content in product descriptions, ads, emails, and other promotional materials, you can create a more personal connection with potential customers, and build trust and credibility for your brand, improve customer engagement and retention rates, and ultimately, grow your business.
In this guide, we'll cover the importance of product reviews, ways to collect them effectively, and some fool-proof strategies for using them to improve your ecommerce website.
Why should you care about product reviews?
One of the most important tools in your ecommerce arsenal, reviews are user-generated content that doesn't cost you money, but can help you earn big profits.
There are many different sources and types of product reviews that consumers rely on when making purchasing decisions, including reviews on social media sites, product review websites, product listing pages on ecommerce sites, and customer testimonials.
Source: Digital PR World
The above infographic shows how much of a deal maker/breaker a review can be for your business.
Whether you're a product manufacturer or an online retailer, it's important to respond to negative product feedback in a professional and timely manner. Not only is this essential for maintaining good customer relations, but it can also impact your search rankings and conversions.
By addressing issues promptly and constructively, you can minimize the damage caused by negative reviews and gain valuable insight into ways you can improve your business. We will dive deeper into this in a bit.
The value of product reviews
Research conducted by technology company, Dixa indicates that product reviews increase sales by 18% on average. Understanding where product reviews come from, and how to collect them, can help you make better business decisions.
By analyzing your data and identifying common themes or trends, you can gain valuable insights into what customers value most in your product offerings.
There is a growing need for strategies that effectively leverage all types of user-generated content. Whether you are looking to improve customer engagement, increase sales, or build a stronger brand presence online, product reviews can help you achieve all your business goals.
Used effectively, good product reviews can help boost traffic, improve SEO rankings, and drastically increase conversion rates.
What makes a good product review?
A well-written, honest review with a personal touch helps potential buyers get an idea of what to expect from your product.
An effective review typically includes photos or videos of the product being used. This helps to give potential buyers a better understanding of how the product works.
Quality reviews provide specific examples of the product's performance and features. This gives readers a clear picture of the product, and helps them feel confident about their purchasing decision.
A high number of positive reviews can encourage potential customers to make a purchase from your business.
The best ways to get your customers to leave product reviews
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews. Include prominently placed links or buttons on your product pages that allow customers to leave a review with just a few clicks.
Send customer satisfaction surveys after purchase. Ask customers to rate their satisfaction with their shopping experience and the product they just bought, and to provide feedback on what could be improved.
Make all your existing reviews visible on your product pages and social media platforms.
Use customer feedback in your marketing efforts.
Offer incentives and coupons in exchange for reviews.
Consider sending follow-up emails after a purchase with a link to a review site, or asking customers to leave a review on your social media pages.
Don't let negative reviews get you down : How to make the best of a bad situation
As a business owner, you will be familiar with the occasional negative product review. Customers know that nobody is perfect and only want to know whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Although it can be difficult to respond to negative reviews in a way that pleases both the customer and the business, with careful planning and consideration, it's certainly possible to reach a positive outcome.
The key to dealing with negative feedback is to respond positively and professionally. By alleviating your customers' concerns promptly, you can show them that you are focused on quality, regardless of whether the gesture produces a positive review.
Turning lemons into lemonade: 5 helpful tips for responding to negative product reviews
1. Acknowledge the customer's complaint, express empathy, and offer reassurance.
2. Try to understand why the customer was dissatisfied with the product.
3. Offer a solution, coupons, gift cards, or even a full refund if necessary.
4. Thank the customer for their positive feedback.
5. Keep refining your product in accordance with consumer feedback in order to improve sales in the future.
Why you should encourage customers to leave product reviews
By showcasing credible customer reviews on your ecommerce website, you can give potential buyers the information they need to feel confident in their purchases.
Reviews answer important questions like:
➤ Are past buyers happy with the product?
➤ Do they think it's worth the price?
Additionally, product reviews can help your products rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and benefit your SEO rankings.
Here are the top ways product reviews can benefit your business:
Customer reviews are an effective way to learn about a product's quality and features.
Online product reviews can help influence the buying decisions of potential customers.
Feedback from real consumers can shed light on the way a product or service performs in real life.
The online reviews left by customers can help businesses develop more effective marketing plans.
Product reviews can help build trust with potential customers.
Reviews encourage word-of-mouth marketing for your brand and products or services.
Reviews can be helpful for learning about problems with a given product. Knowing about potential problems ahead of time can help you avoid them in the future.
5 strategies for leveraging product reviews to grow your business
The more closely product reviews describe a product's actual results, the more useful they can be for inbound marketing to increase sales. Here are some strategies to utilize customer reviews to benefit your business:
1. Make sure your product reviews are honest and accurate. Don’t try to skew the ratings in your favor by editing or deleting negative reviews. Customers will see through this and it will substantially damage your credibility.
2. Use positive reviews to highlight the benefits of your products. Feature customer testimonials on your website and use them in your marketing materials to show potential buyers what other people have said about your products.
3. Respond to negative reviews constructively. If a customer has a negative experience with one of your products, don’t ignore them. Reach out to them as soon as you can and try to resolve the issue. This shows that you care about your customers and are willing to stand behind your product.
4. Use feedback to improve customer service. If you see a trend in negative reviews, use it as an opportunity to grow. Maybe there’s a problem with your shipping process or there’s something you can do to make the experience better for your customers. This knowledge could help you implement a process improvement.
5. Use product reviews to improve the product development process. Pay attention to what people are saying about your products and use that feedback constructively. Maybe there’s a feature that customers are asking for, or maybe there’s a design flaw that you can fix. Negative reviews might just give you a needed push to level up your product.
The future of online product reviews: More transparency, more engagement
More and more people are relying heavily on online reviews to make purchasing decisions. This is especially true for products that are expensive or difficult to return if they don't meet the buyer's expectations. As a result, businesses are becoming increasingly interested in getting their products reviewed online.
Many businesses have started using reviews more strategically by targeting specific review-based content to different audiences. Review platforms are slowly becoming more specialized, catering to specific types of products or shoppers. Increasingly, product reviews will likely play a critical role in the ecommerce landscape.
Conclusion: Product reviews can be powerful
Reviews create a sense of community and connection among customers. They can help your business identify areas of improvement, build social proof, increase customer satisfaction, and find loyal customers to promote your business. By taking the time to collect and act on feedback, you can ensure that your business is always moving forward.
Apart from improving your brand visibility and reputation, product reviews can help to shed light on what products and services customers are most interested in, so you can focus on providing the best possible shopping experience. Encourage your customers to write product reviews, and watch your business grow!