Product reviews are undoubtedly one of the greatest and most effective sales tools. For a majority of savvy online buyers product reviews matter more than the price and discounts offered by the online store. Research suggests that customers are 110% more likely to buy from an online store with reviews feature along with Q&A.
Here are some more interesting facts about how reviews influence buying decision
97% of customers say customer reviews influence their buying decisions
95% of buyers read reviews before finalizing their purchase
94% of the buyers read reviews when they are available
92% of consumers hesitate to buy a product with no reviews
90% of buyers read between 5-10 reviews before deciding to trust a brand
78% of customers who made purchase after reading a review feel satisfied from their purchase
Source: Fan & Fuel, Sitejabber
Why Does Your Online Store Need Customer Reviews And Ratings
Social proof from an unbiased third party not only works as a referral but also gently nudges a hesitant buyer towards completing the purchase. This type of user generated content builds trust and credibility for the product as well as the site. Buyers trust the opinion of others who have already used the product they intend to buy.
Did you know that positive customer reviews have a huge impact on the conversions increasing it by as much as 200%.
How Reviews And Ratings Boost Conversions
Adding review and rating system on an ecommerce website had been known to boost conversions in the following ways;
Increase Repeat Customers
Seeing customer reviews and star ratings on your product pages has a positive impact on the buying behaviour of the customers. Your happy customers tend to give positive feedback while they are still euphoric about acquiring a new product. Targeting them within 24 hours of delivery not only increases your chances of getting a review but can also help you in building a long-term relationship with them.
If you reward the positive reviews with some sharable discount coupons, you can ensure that the customer would stay loyal and bring referrals to your site. Word of mouth brand promotion at the micro level by your loyal customers can ensure a steady flow of orders on a regular basis.
If you make customer reviews interactive by duly answering negative as well as the positive feedback. This process improves your brand reputation significantly. It gives your customers confidence that your brand is alert and cares for the opinion of its customers.
Title: How replying to reviews impacts online conversions
Responding to just one review helps a business earn 4% more revenue on average
Replying to at least 25% of their online reviews helps a business earn 35% more revenue
Replying to product reviews on your site as well as on your social media and Google Business pages brings authenticity to your brand which in turn leads to more conversions.
Bring More Organic Traffic
Likelihood of a product getting purchased increases by 270% if it gets 5 reviews
92% of B2B ecommerce buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review
Conversion rate of higher priced item increases by 380% if it has customer reviews
Source: G2 and Heinz Marketing, Spiegel
Search engines give more credibility to what others have to say about your brand rather than what you as a brand are promoting and marketing. When a page is regularly updated with fresh reviews by customers, search engines pick this as a positive signal and rank it higher on SERPs.
Ratings and reviews on social channels add free and fresh content to your brand and create a buzz. User-generated content in the form of customer reviews automatically helps in social media optimisation (SMO) and boosts your shares, likes, commenting, hashtag etc. across social platforms.
Additionally, when customers are reviewing your product or services, they inadvertently include your regular as well as long tail keywords which again help in higher SERP. Adding star rating as a review mechanism has a positive psychological impact on customer behaviour.
Wonder why? Ever since our kindergarten days we are preconditioned to perceive star rating as a positive signal.Naturally then, when your pages appear on SERP with star rating, it validates your brand’s popularity.
By automatically enhancing a website’s SEO and SMO efforts, product reviews help in getting more organic traffic and boosting the conversions.
Better Sales With Negative Feedback
It’s surprising but true that negative feedback can also help you get more conversions. Wondering how? Well, the marketing gurus have always believed in the adage, “ There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
A business gets 19% of negative customer reviews on an average
95% of customers are suspicious of authenticity if the product has no negative reviews
82% of customers actively look out for negative reviews
15-20% of negative reviews for a business brings on an average 13% more revenue than businesses with 5-10% negative reviews
72% of B2B ecommerce customers feel negative reviews give better insight into a product
40% of B2B buyers affirm that negative reviews build credibility for a product
Source: Womply, PowerofReviews, G2 and Heinz Marketing
Negative customer reviews have a two-fold impact on your brand. Even the worst criticism creates a buzz about your product and brand. Let’s sample a scenario, suppose you are selling a cotton shirt. One of your customers writes an elaborate negative feedback that the material was good but the buttons were not done perfectly. Such detailed customer review will make other readers feel confident about your product. Many customers will confidently buy this product even with this minor defect which can be fixed easily.
This negative feedback also works as an eye opener and allows you to make improvements in your product based on the expectations of the customers. By improving the quality of the product, you can re-launch it as a new product at a higher price. Customer feedback thus performs an automatic quality check for your products and gradually improves conversions by improving product quality.
Building Additional Social Proof By Adding Alternatives To Customer Reviews
Undoubtedly, feedback and reviews add a lot of credibility to your products and services. But adding additional social proof can only help in getting more conversions and authenticity to your brand reputation. Let us sample some of the other ways to gain customer confidence;
Social Profile Of Customers
Encourage customers to share their photograph with your product on their social profile along with a word about your brand and product. Share these profiles on your product pages to generate interest in your products. Reward the customers who share their images and positive reviews with some discount or coupon code.
Testimonials are a timeless and more comprehensive validation of your brand than product reviews. Also, you need fewer testimonials than reviews to establish your brand and product reputation. Adding about a dozen testimonials can give an additional boost to your conversions.
There are a host of reputed media channels that can publish a press release about your brand. By creating a buzz about your brand in the media circles, you can get more customer attention and validation for your products and services.
As it is clear from the stats, customer reviews work like wonder for your brand. They undoubtedly offer you a tool to do free promotion of your brand and boost your conversions. But to get the whole review mechanism in place and working for your brand you will need the right tools to do so.
If the process sounds like too much to handle, let me tell you it can be done in a super easy way. All you need is the top ecommerce platform StoreHippo that comes with inbuilt review and rating features. storeHippo builds feature rich B2b and B2c online stores in no time. After building your store, you can easily enable the feature on all your product pages and start getting user reviews. Just keep responding to the reviews to create your brand image as a customer-centric organization.
Want to benefit from the magic of adding customer reviews to your online store? Get it done easily by powering your online business with StoreHippo. Get going right away by starting your 14-day free trial.