Word of mouth has always been the most powerful form of marketing. It is human nature to trust the recommendation of a friend or family member over any other type of advertising: It’s honest, it’s personal, and it’s reliable.
But what if you could get that same level of personal recommendation from a complete stranger? That’s the power of online customer reviews.
In the article you’re about to read, we’ll discuss why online customer reviews are the ultimate salesperson for eCommerce businesses and how you can make the most of them.
At its simplest, a customer’s online review is a written testimonial about a product or service purchased and used by an actual customer. These reviews can be left on the website of the business in question, on a third-party review site, or even on social media platforms.
There are two main types of online customer reviews that businesses should be aware of:
These are the most common eCommerce product reviews, and they usually take the form of a star rating (from one to five stars, for example) along with a written comment. Customers will often be asked to rate their overall experience and specific aspects of the product or service they purchased.
Testimonials are similar to ratings and reviews but tend to be more extensive. They also usually include the customer’s full name, location, and headshot. Many businesses will showcase testimonials prominently on their websites.
We can also differentiate between private and public reviews.
Clients review a product or service and share their reviews directly with the business through email, phone calls, or direct messages.
Public reviews are those that anyone can see; they are left on a website or third-party review platform.
Public reviews are more important for businesses because they are more likely to be seen by potential customers and impact their purchase decisions.
Both positive and negative reviews customers post online can have a major impact on your business. If you’re still wondering why online customer reviews are the ultimate salesperson for eCommerce, note that statistics show that 89% of B2B buyers search online for product or service reviews and photos before making a purchase decision.
The impact of customer reviews is evident in both the short and long term.
Of course, the effect of online seller reviews is not always positive. Businesses have been known to crumble due to negative reviews, especially when such reviews go viral. This is why it’s so crucial for companies to manage their online reputation.
Positive and authentic customer reviews can have many benefits for your business. Here are just a few examples:
This is probably the most obvious benefit of positive customer reviews. If potential customers see that others have had a good experience with your product or service, they’re more likely to purchase it themselves. Higher conversion rates mean more sales and more revenue for your business.
In addition to increasing sales and conversions, positive eCommerce reviews can also help you attract new customers. After all, potential customers are more likely to trust a business recommended by someone they know and trust. This powerful marketing tool is called “social proof.”
With real customers’ words and sentiments about your product or service, your marketing campaigns will be more effective, and your advertising budget will go further.
In recent years, Google has increasingly used customer reviews as a ranking factor in its search algorithms. Businesses with positive reviews of their online stores are more likely to appear higher up in search results, which can lead to even more sales and conversions. The SEO factor is becoming increasingly important for most top-rated e-commerce platforms.
Positive online reviews can help build trust and credibility for your business. After all, if customers are willing to leave positive reviews, they must be pretty happy with your product or service.
This can encourage potential customers who are on the fence about your business to give you a try. Finally, potential customers are more likely to trust a business recommended by someone they know and trust.
Positive online business reviews can also help to improve customer retention. If customers are happy with your product or service, they’re more likely to stick around and continue doing business with you. This is especially important for businesses that rely on repeat customers or subscriptions.
There’s a common misconception that happy customers will automatically leave positive reviews and unhappy customers will bad-mouth your business to anyone who will listen.
This is not always the case.
In fact, getting positive customer reviews requires an active effort. You need to reach out to your customers and ask them for feedback. Luckily, there are a few ways you can do this and improve your online reviews section:
After a customer has made a purchase, send them a follow-up email and ask them to leave a review of their experience. This is a great way to get honest feedback about your product or service. You can include a link to the comment box or a star-rating system in your email, attach a short survey, or even ask for video testimonials.
Another way to encourage customers to leave reviews is to use a pop-up or sidebar widget on your website. These widgets can be triggered after a customer has made a purchase or spent a certain amount of time on your site. This makes leaving a comment more convenient for customers, encouraging them to do so.
Online businesses’ reviews can be solicited via social media platforms. You can post about your product or service on your company’s social media page and ask customers to leave their thoughts in the comments. You can also run social media ads that link to review pages or use hashtags to encourage customers to post about their experiences.
Another way to get positive customer reviews is to leverage user-generated content to resonate with your target audience. UGC is any content created by customers, such as product photos, videos, or reviews. Once you create your eCommerce website and add UGC, you can use it for your social media pages or marketing campaigns.
One of the best ways to get online reviews for your business is to offer an incentive. This could be a discount code, a free product, or entry into a contest. Customers are more likely to take the time to leave a review if they know they’ll get something in return.
No company is perfect, and even the best businesses will get the occasional negative review. The important thing is how you deal with those bad reviews. Companies need to consult online reviews daily and take the good with the bad.
When you see a negative eCommerce review, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and remember that not every customer will be happy 100% of the time. Here are a few tips for dealing with negative reviews:
It’s important to respond to all customer reviews, both positive and negative. This shows that you pay attention and care about your customers’ experience. A simple “Thank you” is usually sufficient for a positive review. For a negative review, you’ll want to take the time to address the customer’s concerns and offer a solution.
It's important to remember that negative reviews are not a reflection of you as a person. They’re simply feedback about your business. Try not to take it personally and stay focused on finding a solution.
Your online store reviews, even negative ones, can be a great opportunity to improve your business. Use the feedback to identify areas where you can make changes. Maybe there’s a problem with your product, or your customer service could be better. Whatever the case may be, use negative reviews as an opportunity to make your business even better.
Finally, it’s important to monitor your online reputation. This means regularly checking review sites, social media pages, and other online platforms for mentions of your business. If you see a negative review, reach out to the customer and try to resolve the issue. If you see a positive review, share it on your social media pages or website.
Even though it might be tempting to buy positive reviews, it’s not a good idea. Not only is it unethical, but it can also lead to long-term damage to your business. It’s much better to focus on earning positive reviews through excellent customer service and offering incentives.
You can turn online customer reviews into a powerful marketing tool for attracting new customers. Just remember to be professional, respond to all reviews, and use negative reviews as a growth opportunity.
Customer reviews’ importance in eCommerce can’t be overstated. They build trust, improve SEO, and drive sales. Consumers tend to trust customer reviews more than they trust advertising, so it’s important to encourage shoppers to leave positive reviews.
Negative reviews can also be turned into positive experiences by responding professionally and using them as an opportunity to improve your business.
Yes, reviews can help sell products. Potential customers are more likely to purchase a product if they see that it has positive reviews and that the business has a good reputation.
Online reviews are important to customers because they offer an unbiased opinion about a product or service. They can also help potential customers make informed decisions about whether or not to purchase a product. Finally, reading through reviews can be a fun and entertaining way to learn about new products or services.
Online customer reviews’ benefits include improved SEO, increased trust, and more sales. Online customer reviews can also help you identify areas where your business needs to improve. Additionally, online reviews are a great way to get feedback from customers about their experiences with your business.
Those wondering why online customer reviews are the ultimate salesperson for eCommerce should consider all of these factors. Trust, transparency, and customer service should be the main priorities for any business, and online customer reviews help to promote all three.
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