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Running an eCommerce Business

eCommerce Essentials: Embracing Customer Reviews - Good & Bad

eCommerce Essentials: Embracing Customer Reviews - Good & Bad

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

2 weeks ago


eCommerce Essentials: Embracing Customer Reviews - Good & Bad

The world of commerce has officially changed. No longer are customer’s passive people just sitting there waiting to receive your companies marketing message. In modern eCommerce, customers are co-creators, actively involving themselves in the marketing process. Although, some merchants might recoil at this active customer, the truth is eCommerce store must embrace the fact that customers are involved with your brand whether directly or indirectly.

One of the most prevalent ways customers are affecting brands is through online reviews. They are everywhere, regardless of whether you are encouraging them or not. However, reviews are one the most valuable assets a brand can have so here at PropelAd, we are presenting the reasons why eCommerce stores should be embracing and encouraging online reviews to add value to stores. 

Why use online reviews? 

So why does your eCommerce store need reviews? Well, in actuality online reviews are immensely influential on customer’s decision to purchase and on a company’s growth and profits. Here are the stats prove it:

  • Over 90% of online customers claim to look at customer reviews before making a decision to buy
  • 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase on a site that has reviews
  • Having reviews can increase a eCommerce stores sales by up to 20% 
  • Having over 50 reviews can mean a 4.6 increase in conversion rates. (Reevoo)
  • 72% of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations (Search Engine Land)

Value for Store

Encouraging customer reviews is more than just about the numbers though, embracing them can be a real asset for your businesses and here is why:

Help reputation 

When building an online brand, merchants generally want to have a reputation of being reliable, good quality and helpful. Having customer reviews on your website that are positive will inevitably raise your brands reputation. Positive reviews will make customers think highly of your brand and increase the perception that you are a brand that has exceptional products as well as good customer service.

Lower abandoned carts 

With abandon carts becoming a ubiquitous problem within the eCommerce world, it is essential that stores do whatever they can to reduce this problem. By providing customer reviews, potential customers can get an indication of what your brand is providing and hopefully decide to go through with their purchase as they will be reassured and confident about what they are about to buy instead of abandoning their cart out of fear of your store not being right for them.

Use criticism to improve brand 

Unavoidably brands will get some negative feedback. It’s a fact of business life. Some eCommerce stores choose to stick their head in the sand and ignore the negative experiences that customers have had but this is not a very mature or helpful way of dealing with criticism. Instead, merchants should consider both the positive and the negative reviews as it could lead to you becoming aware of gaps in your business practices. Customer’s criticism be used to improve your brand and help you cater towards your customers more effectively.

Bad reviews improve customers trust in the reviews 

Although, you may learn to appreciate a bad review you may not want other customers reading negative feedback about your brand. But believe it or not, negative reviews may in fact be good for your customers to see. The occasionally bad review can make your reviews more trustworthy as consumers will know that they are real and not just handpicked to make the brand look faultless.  This will built an image of a brand that is honest and trustworthy as you allow your customers to see all experiences both good and bad.


Value for customers 

For customers, reviews are essential as they no longer rely on brands feeding them information and there are a number of valuable reasons to look at reviews when researching their online purchase such as:

Others Mistakes & Triumphs 

Customers like to know what other customers have experienced. That is why word of mouth and online reviews are hugely popular. It is valuable for them to see what people enjoyed about a brands shopping experience but also what went wrong. This prepares them for what could go smoothly or what could go wrong so that when they buy from your brand there are no annoying mishaps.

Build trust 

Building trust online is a difficult process. It’s difficult for customers to know that your brand will provide them with the shopping experience they want and need. Customers must overcome uncertainty about the quality of hat they are buying as they are unable to touch and feel your products as well as uncertainty about your shipping, customer service, payment options and numerous other things. Customer reviews soothe and ease their insecurities about online shopping and will allow them to comfortably and confidently buy from your store as they see so many others who have had positive experiences. 


Encouraging Reviews
 
Even though customer reviews seem to be everywhere online, the fact is many businesses struggle to get their customers to review their store. Once a product arrives customers forget and often tend not to think about giving your store a review. To get your customer reviewing it may be a smart idea to use some little marketing tricks to get them back to your site and reviewing their experience.

Email 

As customers often just simply forget to write a review, it may be a good idea to send them a reminder. Dropping them an email that kindly requests that they give you a review a few days after their purchase will increase the likelihood of them writing you one as they will be reminded about their purchase and make them analysis their interaction with your store. 

Make reviewing easy 

It’s often the case that customers would like to write a review but have no idea how so why not make it as easy as possible for customers to write one. At every opportunity merchants should be providing customers with the facilities to write a review. From having a little pop up on screen enticing customers to write reviews or having just a simple and fast tab under a product that lets a customer quickly review will increase the likelihood that your customers will write something about their experience.

Offer incentives

Some customers may just need a little extra push to write a review and this can be done by providing incentives. Little perks such as discount codes or coupons can be a great way to persuade people to write a few words about your business.

With more and more brands incorporating reviews into their social media and websites, it’s essential that merchants join in on this marketing strategy. It’s clear that customers and business gain from reviews so leaving them out of your store could be a damaging strategy for your business.  

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