Online reviews have developed into the digital equivalent of word of mouth recommendations, and that’s a big deal for online retailers. In fact, there’s no shortage of statistics available that tell us how important online reviews are for ecommerce businesses.
In a study by Dimensional Research and Zendesk
, 66% of respondents reported reading online reviews. According to BrightLocal
, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 85% will read up to 10 reviews before making a purchase decision.
Despite these statistics, many retailers still shy away from inviting users to review their products and services for fear of negative feedback, but if you can get reviews right, then the benefits can be well worth the risk.
So What Are The Benefits Of Online Reviews?
Well for starters, popular review sites such as Yelp, Trust Pilot and Alexa receive a vast amount of traffic every day, and having your brand reviewed on any of these websites is a great way to increase your brand awareness, especially when it comes to attracting new customers.
They’re also considered to be highly authoritative websites, which can benefit your organic SEO if you’re lucky enough to receive referral traffic from these sources. You can also gain rankings for your “product name + review” and keep the search engines supplied with fresh, unique content. Moreover, Google actively considers the source of your reviews when it comes to ranking businesses for local search queries.
Finally, well reviewed products that gain a reputation for being highly rated can have a direct impact on the bottom line of your business, as many customers are willing to spend that little bit extra in order to ensure they’re buying quality. So there is a direct return on investment for implementing reviews on your website.
Practising What We Preach
We recently leveraged the power of reviews for a couple of our own clients: The Plastic People and Direct Blinds. To do this we turned to one of perhaps the best known review sites in the UK: Trust Pilot
, but we took things a little bit further than simply gathering customer opinions.
To really maximise the value we could generate out of online reviews, we took advantage of the Trust Pilot API to send invites to customers asking them to review both the company and their products and services. These invites were sent using automation processes triggered by an order completion on the website.
This integration is sophisticated enough to factor in the delivery times for particular products as well as any delay to delivery caused by things such as stock availability. This allows us to time sending the invite perfectly.
Setting up this automation helps to not only gather reviews in the first place but also to increase the chances of receiving positive reviews, by avoiding sending the invites too soon. After all, there’s nothing worse than contacting a customer for a product review before it’s even arrived…
It’s not just about generating content for Trust Pilot though, both The Plastic People and Direct Blinds also display their customer reviews directly on their own websites to help support the purchasing journey for new customers too.
We have also implemented schema mark up to pull though review stars directly onto the search snippets displayed on search engine results pages. This makes the business stand out against the competition and encourages more clicks from potential customers.
Quantity & Quality Are Key
As well as building a stash of quality of reviews, it’s also important to have quantity too. Referring back to the BrightLocal statistic from the start of this post: 85% of consumers will read up to 10 reviews before making a purchase decision, so if you’re going to win the trust of potential buyers, it’s important you have enough reviews to convince them you’re the right retailer to shop with. Sending automated invites after purchases is a great way to get this process rolling.
Of course it’s important those reviews are positive reviews too. Ideally they should be focused on the quality of your products or services, as these are the ones that are going to transform a hesitant potential buyer into a confident customer.
Bad Reviews Can Be Valuable Too!
Believe it or not, statistics from Reevoo suggest that having one or two bad reviews can actually improve conversions
by up to 67%. It sounds counter intuitive but Reevoo discovered that people looking for bad reviews convert better because they’re more likely to be in purchase mode.
And if you’re still not convinced that the odd bad review can be of benefit
, then remember that Reevoo also note that 68% of consumers trust reviews more when there’s a mix of good and bad and that 30% get suspicious when all reviews are positive.
So that small risk we mentioned earlier of potentially received a few bad reviews, may not even be a risk at all…
Are you convinced to take the plunge and get started gathering customer reviews for your business? Then speak to one of the team