As an e-commerce business, you would have heard that product reviews are imperative to an e-commerce store and that it is one of the main components of the business that when used to your advantage can increase conversion rates, and drive sales and boost revenue.
This guide will go into detail about why product reviews are important for your e-commerce store, strategies you can use by leveraging product reviews to make more sales, and how to display your reviews.
What are product reviews?
Firstly, let us look at what product reviews are. Generally speaking, product reviews are feedback based on the aftermath of a customer purchasing a product from your business. This is based on their interaction with the product and their opinion of it.
Product reviews provide a space, on e-commerce platforms, for the customers to either appreciate the product or share their grievances on the site that can use as constructive criticism for improvement.
Why product reviews matter
Product review can highlight your product and consequently, your e-commerce store. These reviews, especially if they are positive, can impact your sales, driving customer loyalty, and increasing conversion rates. Various other benefits make product reviews an essential part of e-commerce stores.
Here, social proof is a vital tactic. When customers leave positive product reviews, it triggers a psychological phenomenon in which other customers will base their purchase decisions and judgments based on the reviews of others. Thus, positive reviews drive sales by making other people purchase with the same confidence as the previous customer.
Essentially, people want proof of other customers to ensure that the product is worthwhile. According to an eConsultancy study, reviews are trusted 12 times more than any other marketing tactics, highlighting that social proof is a powerful tool.
While the quality of the product is to be of utmost importance, reviews of the said products can boost the product value and ensure that the customers will trust the product. Reading product review that is left by the customers, regarding the quality of the product and the value that the products serve to them, helps in creating a trustworthy online reputation. And Capterra states that customers are 63% more likely to trust and buy from a brand that displays reviews.
Contribute to SEO efforts
Ranking high or on the first page of the Search engine results page should be a goal for e-commerce businesses. And building an SEO-friendly web presence is made easier with customer reviews for the products sold by your brand.
Most likely customers are bound to use keywords in their reviews- they’ll mention the name of the product at least. And through them adding more content associated with you, on the internet, your brand’s name is likely to appear for other web users when searching those keywords. Furthermore, the positive product reviews will entice them to purchase your product.
Aid customer decision-making
The customer’s purchase decision becomes a lot more complicated when shopping online. They put more time and energy into evaluating the products, reading through the reviews, and comparing the items before adding them to the cart and checking out.
Here reviews are the key to that decision-making process and aid the customers in getting a better idea about the products such as the size and the material. Furthermore, seeing the products being used as a solution for sharing pain points will also put them at ease and encourage them to purchase the product.
You can not expect all reviews to be positive and it may come as a shocking surprise but negative reviews are also helpful in identifying the areas for improvement.
Negative reviews can be left by angry customers or customers that may misinterpret a situation. However, if you do end up seeing various negative reviews targeting the same issues, then it is a problem that you should be addressing.
Positive reviews have a positive influence on visitors and potential customers. However, ignored negative reviews can damage your business. Thus, use negative reviews as a way to remedy the problematic areas in your business.
How do shoppers use reviews?
Product reviews and testimonials are the building blocks for the customers to trust a brand. And this is more crucial in an e-commerce business setting as the customer doesn’t have the chance to speak to a sales associate, who is usually available at a brick-and-mortar store. Therefore, the information they could get from another human being, that is valid, comes in the form of a product review and they base their purchase decision on this- as much as 93% of consumers vouch for this statement.
It is a fact that 90% of consumers read online reviews before even visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust an online review as much as they’d a personal recommendation.
Thus it is not an exaggerated statement when one says that online reviews can make or break the success of your e-commerce business.
What are Negative Reviews?
Negative reviews are the feedback a customer leaves regarding a product or a service provided by your business and they found an unsatisfactory experience.
As we mentioned earlier, not all customers are going to be 100% satisfied with your product or service and it is a completely natural practice for them to voice their discontentment with your product and/or service.
However, remember in this situation, ignorance is not bliss. Once this situation goes out of your hands, you will never be able to rework the damage caused to your brand’s reputation. Thus, constantly check for negative reviews and provide proper customer service to ensure that the pain points of the customer are worked upon, leaving them satisfied. This is the key to building trust, retaining customers, and ensuring customer loyalty.
Significance of 1-star and 2-star Reviews
Not all customers will purchase your product if they see overtly positive reviews and 5-star ratings; it will make them skeptical of them being fake. Furthermore, never delete or hide negative reviews, among various raving reviews, having a couple of negative reviews will help the customer not hold you up to the standards of perfection.
Simply acknowledge the negative feedback and reach out to the customer, preferably publicly first and then privately to alleviate their pain points and showcase your good customer service and attention to detail.
How to Handle Negative Reviews?
You can handle negative reviews by setting up alerts for them so that you can immediately respond to the concerns and set up an auto-approval for 4-5 star reviews to be displayed on top. We’d highly suggest not deleting any negative reviews.
Customer feedback will have important data that can be used to improve and win new customers and their loyalty, generating revenue and building a loyal customer base.
What are Picture Reviews?
When pictures are uploaded by customers, they prove to be more persuasive than those posted by the brands as it helps the visitor and shoppers see the products in a real-life environment, being used- therefore it is relatable.
Picture reviews are more memorable than textual reviews as it is psychologically easier for the human brain to remember pictures than words, especially if the pictures are associated with positive connotations. Additionally, picture reviews can strengthen textual reviews as a combination of them convey authenticity and relatability.
Significance of Picture Reviews
Picture reviews are highly effective and according to various research conducted on this subject matter, it is attested that approximately 13-15% of overall reviews have pictures accompanying the textual feedback. This increases the credibility of the product for the potential customers and has a chance to increase your sales by 3%.
Search Engines Love Unique User Content
Reviews are the building blocks for the trust since they represent the personal and unbiased experiences of the customers. They are written by customers therefore they fall in the bracket of unique content that search engines love.
Essentially, if you have a good number of product reviews, it will drive organic traffics to an e-commerce website.
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The Impact Of Product Reviews On Your Bottom Line
Positive reviews provide visitors and costumes with the much-needed nudge from the state of indecisiveness and hesitation to making an informed decision to purchase.
When this transition happens, it shows that the user-generated review has the power to make or break a deal, and this has an impact on the bottom line of your e-commerce business.
Impact of Product Reviews on SEO
Various factors influence search engine ranking including the use of product keywords in the customer reviews- these help the brand stand out from the competition. Thus, product reviews are vital for a good ranking on search engines.
Search engines like Google do take into account the keywords used in the review before they decide the ranking of your business on search results; just as consumers rely on reviews, search engines do the same.
What makes a good user-generated review?
User-generated reviews provide valuable consumer insights. It helps e-commerce businesses understand the needs and pain points of the customers. And brands can use this information to innovate and improve their products and/or services, ensure customer loyalty and progress their business.
A good user-generated review should ideally have feedback with images and videos. The use of multimedia can reassure potential customers as they provide an insight into the real-life use and existence of the product. And if the feedback is negative, it should be acknowledged as constructive criticism.
Thus, create space on an e-commerce website for users to voice their feedback about the products and/or services as this helps in improving the relationship between your brand and your customers.
How to display reviews
Now that you have your user-generated reviews, you have to effectively display them. And how you display varies from industry to industry; for instance, if you are an apparel company then you need to display reviews that discuss sizes and fits. And if you are a food brand, then taste and ingredients become the point of discussion.
Ultimately, displaying customer reviews is focusing on presenting information to the customer that they look for and can help you build credibility faster.
Here’s a list of 7 elements we encourage you to present when displaying your customer reviews.
- Review snippet
A simple visualization of the product’s reviews and ratings sits at the top of the product page.
- Review Snapshot
Placed further down on the product page, the complete review display includes the overview of the customer feedback and content for that product, the star rating, and the rating distribution.
- Search and filter
This feature helps the visitors and potential customers find the content that they require. You can have certain pre-set filters or they can search for a specific phrase to find reviews or FAQ content that is relevant to them.
- Information about the demography
This helps find content from those customers who have similar characteristics and concerns.
- Verified Buyer badge
The verified buyer badge builds trust as they communicate to the shoppers that the review and feedback are left by someone who has actually purchased the product and has experienced it.
- Visual content display
The photos and videos shared by your shoppers on your website or various other platforms (like social media) can be collected and used on your website or your own social media platforms.
- Customer Q&A
Display the customer questions and the answers you’ve responded with so that the other customers can use them as a point of reference.
How to ask for product reviews
Customer reviews will often come naturally, but it may take some time. You can speed up that process by employing some of these tactics to collect online reviews.
- Ask for a review
Simply asking goes a long way. Sometimes a customer will comply with this simple request. You can ask them to post their checkout on the thank you page or as a pop-up; you can also ask them for a review as a follow-up email after the delivery of their product.
- Make it easy for customers to leave a review
Provide your customers with simple and straightforward customer feedback interaction so that they aren’t thrown in a loop when all they wanted to leave is a review about their experience with your product. Ensure to add links to your social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Google My Business page, and other platforms, aside from your webpage.
Their reviews on various platforms will increase your visibility on those platforms as well.
- Give your customers incentives
Incentivize your customers by giving them discount codes, free shipping coupons, or a voucher in exchange for a review. This will definitely pay off in the future as the benefits of reviews will outweigh the cost invested in this activity. You can simply achieve this by sending out an email sometime after their purchase and bringing this deal to the table. And ask them to leave honest reviews; clarify the fact that the incentives are not for positive reviews but honest ones.
Artificial, fake reviews if revealed can have irreversible damage to your brand’s reputation.
- Share customer surveys
Surveys are a great source to get some solid feedback; here you can even ask the customers to give their feedback on areas they might not have even considered or aren’t normally inclined to comment upon.
You can present this survey after the delivery of the product- simply send out an email that asks your customer to rate factors such as the ease of purchase, the quality of the product, if it matches the description presented to them online, etc. All this valuable feedback can be displayed on your site.
- Engage with the customer feedback
When you give responses to your customer’s reviews, it makes them feel heard and this can go a long way. If it is negative feedback, you can clarify their concern and help improve their experience. And in the case of positive reviews, you can simply show your gratitude.
Acknowledge the feedback by the customer and they are more likely to purchase from you in the future and leave feedback.
- Automate the asking process
Asking for reviews can be automated, it does not have to be a manual effort. Furthermore, by automating this process, you wouldn’t have to worry about taking out the time and putting in the effort to ask customers. Once you set it up, you can rest assured.
You can automate it in a way that an email goes out a week after the purchase so that the purchase and their experience with the product are still fresh in the minds of the customer.
Top Product Review Platforms
Make sure your review collection strategies remain specific to each platform. Offer incentives or rewards for leaving reviews, tailor a seamless review process, and respond to customer feedback motivate customers to share their thoughts and experiences.
- Trustpilot: Trustpilot is a popular review platform that enables you to collect and showcase customer reviews to build trust and credibility.
- PowerReviews: PowerReviews provides a suite of tools for gathering and managing customer reviews, including customizable review request emails.
- Bazaarvoice: Bazaarvoice offers a range of solutions for capturing and amplifying customer reviews, ratings, and Q&A content.
- Reputology: Reputology is designed to help businesses collect and manage customer reviews across various online platforms and review sites.
- Judge.me: Judge.me is a review app for Shopify stores, allowing you to collect and display product reviews and ratings.
- Feefo: Feefo provides a feedback platform that helps you gather genuine customer reviews and insights.
- Google Customer Reviews: Google Customer Reviews is a free program that allows you to collect reviews from customers who make purchases on your website.
- Verified Reviews: Verified Reviews provides a solution for collecting and managing customer reviews, with options for both e-commerce websites and physical stores.
- Facebook Reviews: Utilize your business’s Facebook page to encourage customers in Southeast Asia to leave reviews and share their experiences.