Product Reviews: Why your Online Store needs them.
Product reviews are something used by a big number of online stores, from small and medium sized businesses, to eCommerce giants like Alibaba and Amazon.
In fact, product reviews are big factor that push consumers to use these marketplaces as a search engine for their product needs, instead of traditional search engines.
But why is that? Why is this type of content so important in eCommerce?
Well, we’re getting to the bottom of that in this article.
However, first things first.
What are Product Reviews?
Product reviews are a type of user-generated content created by a customer who already purchased an item, and they usually consist in ratings and/or comments.
Although these are typically present in an online store’s website, they can also be found in certain social media channels, like Facebook, or in specific review platforms.
Benefits of Product Reviews
There are five main reasons for an eCommerce to have product reviews on its website: to build a relationship with consumers, to get genuine feedback on products, to decrease returns, to boost SEO and to increase sales.
Building a Relationship with consumers
To build a good relationship with consumers, a relationship of trust, you need to be transparent with them. One of the best ways to do so is by sharing other consumers’ opinions on your products.
By showing what other clients think of your products, you’re owning what is good and what is not so good about your items. Which, in turn, can make you look more approachable and make your clients feel as if you’ve got nothing to hide. Or, in other words, transparent.
And it’s not only that. According to BrightLocal, in 2017, about 90% of consumers read online reviews and 84% of people trust reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations.
So, by presenting users comments on your store’s website, you are, in a way, giving a voice to people that clients trust. And if these comments are positive, it will increase the odds of potential clients trusting you too.
Just don’t forget to respond to your client’s comments.
According to Bazaar voice, 41% of consumers state that brands replying to reviews makes them believe that the company truly cares about its consumers. And as determined by Chatmeter, in 2017, not replying to customer reviews increases customer churn by up to 15%.
So, by responding to all comments, even to those comments that aren’t so positive, people that visit your website are also getting a taste of your eCommerce and how you work. In fact, 7 out of 10 consumers have changed their opinion about a brand after reading their reply to a review.
Thus, by replying in an amicable way, and by handling any problem that the comment points out the right way, you may inspire even more confidence in your store.
Getting Genuine Feedback
Besides building a relationship with your customers, your business should also look at these reviews as a learning tool, just like it should do when it comes to returns.
To start off, consumers are taking a part of their day to write about your items, which has merit on its own in this digital, fast-paced era. So you should already have an intrinsic interest in knowing what they’re saying.
But if that doesn’t pique your interest, this might: consumers are giving their own, unapologetic opinions on the products. Sometimes they will say what is great about it, and sometimes, what is not…
If the color is different from the product image, if the sizing is wrong, if it breaks easily, if it downright doesn’t work… All of this will come up in a review. And regarding what the reviews say, you might want to adjust your product accordingly.
For example, if the product images you present don’t match the reality, you might want to take some new photos for your product page. Or if the product has some sort of problem after using it once or twice, you might want to speak with your manufacturer about that and fix the issue.
This way, you’re showing that you listen to your consumers and, perhaps more importantly, you are improving your product for future clients.
Related to the previous point, by having your customers give their honest opinion on your goods, by seeing what is great and not so great about them, you are able to adjust your product or product page accordingly.
So, if you create a more accurate product description, or if you present better images of the product, or if you basically look at what the negative aspects the customers are writing about and fix that, not only are you improving your product as stated above, but you’re also making efforts to reduce your return rate.
SEO is a tricky subject. Nobody understand exactly how it works, but there are some educated guesses on what has an impact on it – and online reviews are one of those guesses.
Search engines were made to deliver the best search results possible to the user, so they try to gather the more unique information on a certain subject as they can. The more unique info, the higher the chances of being well-ranked on search engines.
So user-generated content, like product reviews, provide more unique information about an eCommerce. Which can, therefore, influence a store’s position on a search engine. And it can impact its position in a negative, or positive way, depending on the type of review made.
Thus, the more positive reviews you get, the higher your store will rank. And the higher your search engine rank, the more traffic your eCommerce gets, which can only be seen as a good thing.
As we saw before, customer reviews on your products have a lot of benefits for your online store. It can build trust with your clients, it can improve your search engine ranking, it can offer you real feedback on your store’s items and, if you act on that, it can consequently decrease your return rate.
But the best part is that all these benefits can lead to an even bigger one: it can lead to an increase in your sales.
By presenting reviews, you’re building a trust relationship with current and potential clients. That by itself can lead to repeat store visits and brand loyalty, which can ultimately have an impact on sales conversions.
Product reviews will also influence your ranking on search engines like Google, which can also have an impact on your store’s traffic and, consequently, on your sales.
Along with that, by receiving that feedback and by fixing any problem that that might point out, you are decreasing your return rate. Which implies that you are improving your overall sales.
Nevertheless, it’s not only that.
As a study by Spiegle Research Center affirms, just the fact that you’re displaying reviews can increase your store’s conversion rates by 270% – and this can go up to 380% when it comes to higher-priced items.
And as far as reviews go, that design saying that ‘less is more’ doesn’t apply here. More is more.
As the Spiegle study asserts, five reviews increases the likelihood of a purchase by a factor of almost four times, and according to Psychological Science, when given two items with similar ratings, consumers are more likely to buy the product that has more reviews.
Conclusion: Why does your Online Store need Product Reviews?
There are several benefits that your online store may enjoy by presenting product reviews on your website. You are inspiring confidence in your clients, building a relationship with them, improving your SEO, reducing your return rate and, ultimately, increasing the sales of your online store, without barely any effort on your side. The clients do it all.
So why not test out this user-generated content, and seeing the results that it may bring to your online store?