Why Do Online Reviews Matter For Ecommerce Websites?
The good, the bad and the vital. The power of online reviews is indisputable. So how can companies, new ventures stay on top of the feedback game?
Who is Reading Online Reviews?
In today’s web-based world, virtually everyone reads reviews online. In a 2021 study, 87% of respondents admitted that they read at least one online review before visiting a local business, and trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation, while up to 94% said a negative review persuaded them to completely avoid interacting with that activity.
Reviews are a popular online source of information, twice as likely to influence customer decision-making as loyalty, and 7.4 times more likely than traditional marketing.
Plus, consumers don’t just use reviews at the online point of purchase. According to research, 82% of shoppers search for products and read reviews on their mobile phones while looking at the same product in the store. Valuable to customers and critical to businesses, reviews can make the difference between an open wallet and a closed browser or shop door.
We Trust Good Feedback
So what wisdom should companies draw from these statistics? If rave reviews of a service or product increase conversions and negative reviews drive potential customers away, than a good review should be considered a valuable asset.
Like the positive comments on social media. While that feedback doesn’t generate immediate sales, it can help build a company’s credibility and build lasting trust. The review process itself allows companies and customers to establish a relationship with each other and this reciprocity, in the long term, will lead to better business.
Celebrate the good. Respond to the bad.
This means that ignoring a positive review or not responding to a negative review is a lost trick. Businesses should share praise and encourage positive interaction on social media, without gloating or exaggerating, while using negative reviews as an opportunity to show your attention and care.
Remember, reviews are a two-way street. They spark dialogue, generate attention, offer companies the opportunity to adapt and improve. All of this not only serves to attract customers, but also, ideally, to keep them.
The star factor
So what kind of reviews should businesses expect? And how does a good review differ from a great one in terms of impact? There is no denying that star ratings are important, a simple and visual way for consumers to make a safe and informed purchase.
Customers look for a minimum of 3.4 stars before even considering joining a business, so the impact of a one-star review can be detrimental, especially if there aren’t many reviews posted at the company start.
Frequency is key
This means that the number of reviews equally important, if not more important, than the star factor. Stanford University study found that people choose products on Amazon with more reviews than the competition, even when alternatives have higher average scores. More reviews also mean better SEO, with new comments helping to drive the content machine and keep companies on the algorithm radar.
Consistency and relevance
Consistency is also crucial for brands to build and maintain a good reputation. If one customer’s opinion of a company becomes lyrical and the next one tells others to avoid it like the plague, this creates uncertainty for the consumer. But if a customer is greeted by a chorus of “great!” And “terrifics!”, So you can quickly form an opinion and act with confidence.
The more recent the reviews, the greater their weight. In fact, a recent study showed that 85% of consumers believe reviews older than three months are no longer relevant.
Five stars. Frequent. Coherent. Recent. Together, these four things are your golden ticket when it comes to building a positive online presence.
Finally, there is authenticity. Businesses can’t just show their positive reviews for everyone to see. They have to make sure they are authentic. According to a Total Retail survey, if shoppers suspect a product has fake reviews, 36% will not buy the product and 28% would not trust the brand again. Trust is critical to the success of all relationships, especially those between a company and its customers. So, keep it real.
Make it easy….
The Internet has brought everything imaginable within our reach: organic food delivery, tele-medicine, a new car delivered to our home. But online reviews play a vital role in this buying process and can affect everything from trust and loyalty to sales and SEO.
The power of online reviews is indisputable. But 20% of customers, despite reading them often, still haven’t written one yet.
… To spread the love
Research has shown that after having a good experience with a business, consumers are much more likely to leave comments if they receive an invitation via text message or email.
Therefore, companies need to define their review strategy and remain proactive by adopting the review system, encouraging more customers to provide feedback, and making it easier for them to spread the love.
It’s all in the stars the power of review
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