There are possibly billions of products available online and countless product reviews for many of them. When it comes to online product reviews, many who are looking to succeed in the e-commerce marketplace wonder just how important they are. Do people actually read them? Can product reviews really influence purchasing decisions?
Product Reviews are More Important than You Think
The strength of the influence of online product reviews might surprise you. There are many myths and misunderstandings when it comes to the power of online reviews. Despite the countless product reviews on the internet, many business owners still have misconceptions about them. You might have heard that no one reads product reviews or that no one takes them seriously.
SEE ALSO: 5 Online Review Myths You Should Know
This leads many owners of online businesses to undervalue, mismanage, and sometimes completely ignore the product reviews left by customers. This is a critical mistake to make. Business owners could be taking advantage of the open line of communication provided by reviews to create an authentic and responsive brand image.
They could be using them to inspire brand loyalty. Instead, many e-entrepreneurs are failing to communicate and connect with their customers. This is a mistake that many struggling businesses owners make.
Consumers Trust Other Consumers
While many consumers have become distrustful or wary of certain types of marketing, they overwhelmingly trust one another. A survey of 1,000 US online shoppers found that product reviews play a large role in their shopping habits.
In fact, reviews are the leading factor that contributes to consumers choosing higher priced options over lower-priced options. If you are wondering how to leverage product reviews to your advantage and ensure that the right products reach the right customers, read on.
How to Make Your Product Reviews Count
This one seems simple, but once you start receiving product reviews, make sure that they are visible on your product pages and front pages for people to see. In the modern world of constant advertisements and products, highly visible positive reviews can really set your e-commerce products apart.
In fact, according to Spiegel Research Center, 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making purchases.
Some e-entrepreneurs are ahead of the curve and have started offering a whole new format of reviews. While there are many written reviews online, there are fewer video reviews from people who are not influencers. Offer this fun option for consumers to add authenticity and an irreplaceable social element. This will really help consumers connect with and believe in your products.
Star Ratings Are Key to E-commerce
There is a reason that sites from Amazon to indie brands often make use of a star rating system. Everyone wants to feel justified and informed regarding their purchasing decisions, but not everyone has the time to sift through countless reviews for everything that they want to buy.
Star ratings provide an easy visual way to gauge the quality of a product without watching or reading anything too lengthy.
Forget About Photoshop
While glossy promotional photos of products are a key part of marketing e-commerce products and definitely have a place, that place is not in your customer reviews. Customer product reviews are all about building a sense of authenticity. If customers post photos of your products that look approachable and lack the manufactured beauty of studio lights, that only serves to make them more authentic.
After all, your customers will be making use of your products in their everyday life without filters or staging. Raw customer photos are key to building trust with shoppers.
Seeing some casually snapped pictures by other customers on your site and even social media is great for customers. It will let them know that your product is being talked about. It may even inspire them to get in on the fun by sharing their own thoughts about it.
The Benefits of User-generated Content
The bottom line is that user-generated content, such as product reviews, are key to selling e-commerce products. They build trust and rapport with customers.
Customers will feel more informed, which will make them feel better about buying your products. Seeing their peers use and enjoy your products in relatable situations means that they will be able to see themselves using and enjoying them too.
Whether this content involves ratings, written reviews, or video reviews, it is important to display them prominently and encourage customers to submit them.
Customer reviews make consumers feel like they can engage with your products and digital brand. It lets them know that their opinions are valued.
How to Turn Negative Product Reviews Into a Positive
Negative reviews are simply a fact of the e-commerce jungle. You can look at the reviews of famous, popular, and trending products across the internet.
Even if a product has 50,000 reviews and nearly a 5-star rating, there will be a chunk of people who were dissatisfied with it for whatever reason. However, there is a positive side to negative reviews–believe it or not.
67% of buyers want to see a mix of positive and negative reviews. It makes a product seem more authentic and a business more honest. If you have dozens or hundreds of reviews and not one that’s less than glowing, it may make customers wonder how authentic they are.
Negative reviews can also provide businesses with important information. Customers are often unbiased and leave genuine reviews of their experiences using a product. If many consumers have the same critiques of a product, this is actually critically important information. You want to make sure that you listen to what they have to say, even if it is not what you were hoping to hear.
Reviews give you a direct line of communication with customers and let you know what about a product is successful and what needs to be improved on.
Knowing what people want and need and what they do not like is key when it comes to developing successful products. If you get glowing reviews, you know that you have a winning formula for success.
If your product receives mixed or critical reviews, you know exactly what about a current product needs to be improved. This can help inform any future releases and take them to the next level.
SEE ALSO: How to Handle Negative Yelp Reviews
Inspire Consumers to Engage with Your Brand
If you are wondering how you might get these reviews and inspire customers to engage with your product and digital brand, there are a few ways to do it.
Strategic placement, such as centering reviews on the front page of your site or on product pages, can help. People may be more likely to give a review if they are shown that their reviews matter.
You can also invite customers to share reviews on your site or provide them with a shareable social media friendly link. Some even ask social media influencers to review their e-commerce products or offer incentives to customers for reviews.
There are many ways to inspire customers to leave reviews. These reviews are key to the sales of any e-commerce product.
What do you think is the best way to handle negative reviews? Comment below…