When you shop online at most major retailers you will often find a review section on product pages giving browsers an idea of what people thought of the product/company and if they would recommend buying it. Having reviews can be a key turning point in a customers journey from being a browser to a purchaser on your store yet many retailers choose not to take advantage of this key feature.
A 2016 survey by BrightLocal found that 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This is a vast amount and goes to show the weight that an online review can have on encouraging customer to buy your product. So how do product reviews encourage sales…
Product reviews can go a long way in building a rapport with your customers with BrightLocal’s survey finding that 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Reviews help to build trust between you and the customer, increasing his or her confidence and willingness to buy from you as appose from someone else. Potential customers want to see that you have gone the extra mile to help them and make sure they have had a good experience. You can trust that these aspects will appear in product reviews.
Search engines look for fresh content when they rank pages, and customer reviews are the perfect way for you to achieve this. It helps you to differentiate from all of the generic content that is found on most ecommerce sites.
With many customers reading product reviews before they buy, there are increased searches for “Product Name + Review”. So, having reviews on your products is a sure way to an increase rankings on search engines for user searches such as this. You really can’t go wrong with your webpage rankings when it comes to customer reviews.
The newness of reviews plays a large impact on how much they will impact the customer. A recent survey found that 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant, so having lots of old reviews wont provide you with the same impact as fewer but more recent reviews. The influence of recent reviews can really support in increasing those all-important conversion rates and encouraging more sales from your online stores visitors. The 2016 survey also found that as well as recent reviews being immensely important, 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion. So as an online retailer it’s all about quality as appose to quantity. Focus on getting current and positive reviews regularly throughout the year and this will certainly help nurture sales.
Its great when you have a variety of reviews, but as an online merchant its important that you reply to reviews on your products in a timely manner. This is even more important for small retailers and to any negative reviews you may get. Responding back to negative reviews promptly in a professional manner can really go a long way in showing future purchasers that you care and are willing to help customers who sadly experienced a poor service or didn’t like the product. Customers who see negative reviews followed by seeing the company offering support to rectify the situation actually turns that negative into a real positive that re-enforces the customers willingness to buy from you and builds more trust in your company.
Don’t delete bad reviews. Even the best of products will get some negative feedback over time. Such reviews show the reviews on your website are real and honest and thus overall carry a more significant weight. It’s also worth noting people looking for negative reviews on a product are usually more serious buyers and at the stage that they are ready to buy. These people are great to have visit your website and are the optimal target to convert to a buyer through your sites reviews.
So you’ve got all these reviews on your business and product but they don’t have to just stay online. Why not use those reviews offline too in marketing collateral, at events and wherever else you get your brand out there. Utilising these online reviews offline can help drive more visitors to your website and grow sales. In fact BrightLocal’s recent survey found that 54% of people will visit a website after reading positive reviews, so start shouting about them offline!
Now we’ve looked at the importance of reviews on your website, we’ll shortly be posting our follow up blog on how to actually get those all important reviews from your customers and keep them coming. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date and in the loop.