What are reviews, if not the fourth dimension of e-Commerce? If pictures unveil what the products look like and descriptions give an additional three-dimensionality to them, reviews help us grasp the subtle nuances that make a difference in the buyer’s final choice. That is why every e-Commerce site needs reviews.
- e-Commerce Reviews
- The benefits of product reviews
- How to increase e-Commerce reviews
The importance of Reviews for an e-Commerce site
Not all reviews are the same. The different opinions on your e-Commerce site may refer to your products or the customer shopping experience. Depending on which field they belong to, reviews will affect users’ viewpoints differently. According to an academic study, reviews about tangible products — which can be described objectively — are more credible and influence the purchase more when detailed and precise. In the case of experiences and services, it is important to notice how similar the reviews are and how many of them point in the same direction (source: Sciencedirect).
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Whatever your case is, you will certainly have to make sure that people talk about you. This is essential, as your online business will have no identity until there is feedback on your e-Commerce. The lack of reviews of other users generates suspicion in possible customers, who may think that you don’t sell much or that you are new and therefore inexperienced. Knowing that other people bought from you and have taken the time to talk about it increases your brand awareness and site reputation.
Reviews are perceived by 88% of users as being as trustworthy as recommendations from a friend or acquaintance (source: Forbes). This makes every customer a potential testimonial for your brand. Do your best to make a good impression on buyers and make them want to tell everyone!
Many online portals collect reviews of various e-Commerce sites, but also of physical stores. Having your e-Commerce on these is a great way to get known and succeed with your business. However, to shine in the e-Commerce universe, it is even more helpful to integrate reviews into your site!
The benefits of product reviews
Reviews are an entirely altruistic act! About 43% of Italians write reviews to allow the company to improve its products or services, and about 74% do so to facilitate the choice of other consumers. In short, many benefits for a few lines of text (source: digital4biz).
Online sales are on the rise, as are the possibilities and the companies that use the web to sell products and services. To orient users in this complex universe, good coordinates are required. In this case, reviews are what you need!
The moment prior to the purchase includes time spent doing research and evaluation, also called ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). During this time, the user seeks opinions and details about the product or service and the company. And this is when reviews play a significant and irreplaceable role: 85% of users inquire about both the retailer and the product before concluding the purchase (source: Spiegel Research Center), and 60% choose on the basis of reviews of other consumers, which can also be negative (source: digital4biz).
In a world overflowing with opinions, the words of another buyer are worth more than those of an expert! Let’s take a closer look at how reviews affect potential buyers. They:
Facilitate the purchase decision
In the great galaxy of e-Commerce platforms, the options are endless. Following decisions made by others simplifies and speeds up the selection and reduces the perception of risk.
Improve customer trust
The more reviews there are, and the more positive they are, the easier it will be for new customers to trust you enough to buy. That means fewer abandoned carts!
Help build customer loyalty
Reviews are one of the most constructive forms of communication between customers and e-Commerce platforms. Stimulating this interaction offers major benefits to your brand and creates a community able to generate trust and loyalty from those who have already purchased while encouraging more feedback.
Improve your placement in search results
The text of the reviews, if published on your website, will contain many keywords. Browsers will be able to detect these keywords and show your e-Commerce site in all related search expressions. Managing e-Commerce reviews to the best of your ability will significantly benefit your SEO, as well as domain authority!
Make your brand more credible and your products more desirable
Brand reputation is vital in online commerce. Their desire to know in detail what they are buying leads most users to read many reviews before deciding. However, in addition to details about the product, they look for news about the company and its services. Are shipments on time? Is the customer service sound? And so on.
Are great indicators for the seller
Last but not least, thanks to the reviews, you will be able to identify the products that work and those that don’t, as well as realize how to improve the service and which products to highlight. All this lets you improve conversions and make your customers happy!
One of the most significant benefits, however, is that thanks to reviews quality has more relevance. This allows smaller players to stand out even if larger players are present. The web doesn’t answer anyone, not even the great titans of online commerce.
Having good texts on the static pages of your website is not enough. Product descriptions play their role for sure, but since the company itself writes them, they don’t have the same appeal of a review, which is considered — rightly — impartial.
Do not despair if you receive some negative reviews; they are very useful and important!
- They allow you to optimize your catalog and promotions, as well as improve your services. You can also update the products on the homepage enhancing the authority of your site and SEO.
- Answering and handling reported issues in the best possible way enables you to turn a bad opinion into a great one. If some customers have taken the time to tell you what exactly went wrong often means they are willing to reach a compromise that will make them change their feedback. Showing kindness and offering solutions will also let other users realize you are available and care about your customers. It is a sort of social proof able to increase conversions.
Reviews are like Super Mario’s stars — they emphasize your virtues and help you achieve your goals!
How to increase e-Commerce reviews
According to a study by Bright Local, integrating reviews into your e-Commerce site increases conversions from 14% to 76%.
So how to increase your buyers’ participation?
For instance, by soliciting their opinion every time they buy a product, or through questionnaires designed specifically on some issues that you have identified through testing or thanks to some reviews already left by other buyers.
Always answer and be polite, offer solutions and advantageous compromises to those who communicate with you. Suggest that they contact customer care for more details if necessary. Seeing your helpfulness will encourage new buyers to join the community and give their contribution, which is helpful to you and other users.
Tools like Trustpilot, Feedaty, or Verified Reviews are perfect for enticing your customers to leave a review and take some of the work off your hands!
There are also other ways to encourage your customers to leave reviews after their purchase.
Here are 6 ideas to increase reviews in your e-Commerce:
- Create a specific page where you post feedback, product photos, badges and stars,…
- Use marketing automation service to send emails to customers who have just purchased inviting them to leave their review (see Amazon, eBay).
- Simplify your rating system. Some users are lazy, and not all of them want to write. Sometimes, stars or a form with closed answers are enough. However, always provide an optional text field to allow the customers to express themselves freely.
- Keep an eye on all the platforms on which customers can leave feedback and reviews and, where possible, make sure to publish all reviews on your site.
- Never delete negative comments. Use them to show your problem-solving skills and helpfulness. Showing only positive comments often makes users suspicious. Customers are more likely to be willing to write negative feedback than a positive or neutral one, so not having unflattering reviews seems unnatural!
- Offer small rewards if you realize that there is little feedback!
In conclusion, there are two ways to implement the review function on your site.
1. Using a plugin
This is the ideal solution for small to medium businesses, as it is very cheap, although management is entirely in the hands of the company. Reviews will be left directly on your site. This means you are responsible for all operations, such as monitoring, response, moderation, analysis… That is a lot of work if your e-Commerce has a good conversion rate!
The advantage is that there are no intermediaries between you and the customer, but this system doesn’t guarantee certified reviews like other tools do. Do not fall into the temptation of leaving fake reviews; there’s nothing worse for reputation!
2. Using an external service
With these tools, you can publish reviews on your site and have a certificate of their authenticity. Only real buyers can leave reviews. Potential customers seeing this kind of feedback feel very reassured and will certainly trust more what they read. Also, with this kind of external service, even the request for a review or the filling out of any specific questionnaires will be automated and managed by the software, although tailored to your brand identity. Clearly, that is not free, but it is an excellent investment for your business as reviews and their proper management are essential for online commerce. Some of the most popular tools are Trustpilot, Verified Reviews, Feedaty, eShopping Advisor.
Particularly, Verified Reviews is a technological solution that enables you to collect customer reviews, online and offline (eCommerce, stores, agencies, etc.). Thanks to this tool, it is possible to totally customize the email address, the form and the post-purchase thank you message. For example, you can add an NPS survey about the shipping / courier or a topic of your choice, all obviously monitored through KPIs in the back-office system with all the statistics collected.
Verified Reviews – with its collection and analysis of customer opinions – is not only useful during seasonal peaks such as Black Fridays or Christmas, but it also allows you to use the power of reviews to secure future sales. The combined use of Verified Reviews and Qapla’ will enable a great level of engagement between eCommerce platforms and their customers, leading to memorable shopping experiences.Finally, also external instruments like Google Customer Reviews that started out as review aggregators now allow reviews and certification badges to be published on the eCommerce sites.
Marketing Automation: delivery as a trigger point
It’s now clear that reviews are one of the pillars of eCommerce platforms. Choosing the right time to ask for reviews from a customer is not trivial. Wrong timing may result in the dispersion of any positive feedback or even cause a negative response. Indeed, delivery is a reference to take into account when planning this kind of activity.
Sending a request for feedback when the goods are still in transit or there are problems with the shipment can only cause annoyance or frustration in the customers, who will probably write a negative review… even before having the product in their hands!
The Automatic Feedback Service (AFS) is a system provided by Trustpilot that sends feedback requests when specific events occur (such as order confirmation). Each merchant using it has its own Trustpilot email address to trigger the process. Simply add it to the hidden list of recipients (Bcc) in your email flow with customers to notify the event to Trustpilot.
With the combined use of Trustpilot and Qapla’ you can tie the review request to the last step of the shipment – the “delivered” status.
It’s not always pleasing to hear about yourself or your work so frankly, but online commerce is ruthless, and only the best will stand out… the best, according to customers!
Long life and prosperity!
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It also allows you to increase the number of conversions, thanks to the possibility of sending transactional emails and tracking the shipment in a totally customized way, according to your brand’s needs.
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