Product reviews have always been an important driving force behind the buyer decision making process. With the rapid growth of the ecommerce industry, online store reviews become one of the only ways to learn about the quality of a product and make sure what you are planning to buy matches its description.
Studies have shown that over 70% of those shopping online consider customer reviews one of the most important factors that affect their purchase decision. Moreover, the absence of any online product reviews is likely to result in lower conversion rates.
In this Nexcess guide to the importance of product reviews, you will learn how ecommerce reviews help attract new customers and build trust, and how to make the most of them for your online business.
What is a product review?
A product review is a piece of feedback received from a customer that includes their opinion on the purchased product. It is usually written in a custom format and focuses on the buyer experience, showing whether the product satisfies the customer’s expectations and matches the description provided by the seller.
Written reviews and star ratings
Online product reviews often contain more detailed information about the purchased item, including what is usually referred to as expectation vs reality. Buyers are often encouraged to rate a product on a scale of 1 to 5, which then helps calculate its star rating. Star ratings help filter out low-rated items on the initial stage, and focus on products with proven quality.
While some customers are eager to write long reviews, most are only willing to rate the product they received without providing any additional information. The ability to rate a product using a scale is much more effective and results in a higher number of online product reviews received.
The explanation for it is simple — most customers will leave written ecommerce reviews in two situations: when they are totally satisfied with the item or it exceeded their expectations, or if their buyer experience was overshadowed by the poor quality of the product or other negative experiences.
Star ratings are one of the ecommerce features buyers often look for. Make sure your store provides a way to leave customer reviews and rate the products purchased.
Video reviews have been gaining popularity over the years as a great marketing tool for boosting sales. As opposed to written reviews which can be left by bots or the seller to rig the competition, video reviews are often perceived as more credible.
This type of online customer review is often used when working with influencers to promote the product, making it look like they are providing honest feedback and sharing a recommendation. Although video reviews are usually a form of paid advertising, even top-quality products are often promoted this way. It helps increase sales when the product is first introduced to the market or you are looking to reach new market segments.
Benefits of product reviews for online stores
There are numerous benefits of online store reviews for all ecommerce businesses. Read on to understand the importance of product reviews for your online store and how to make the most of them to increase sales and win new customers.
Peer to peer information sharing
As sales have shifted online, the importance of comprehensive product descriptions is hard to underestimate. While sellers do their best to list all characteristics of the items on their product pages, it is almost impossible to proactively answer all questions potential customers may have. Customer reviews help address this issue by having buyers share their experience and ask questions about the sold item.
Many marketplaces allow potential buyers to ask questions about the product quality and its specific characteristics to those who have already purchased the product. As a seller, it’s good to highlight the benefits of your items from your customers. Buyers’ opinions are more likely to be unbiased and focused on the product’s usability. Use it to your advantage to let loyal customers influence those unsure if what you offer meets their requirements.
Provides proof of quality
While product pages often include photos and a detailed description of the item, there is no guarantee that it is actually worth buying. Product reviews provide an assurance that the product you are purchasing matches its description and is of acceptable quality.
Buyers are much more likely to write a long review if the product exceeded their expectations, or, on the other hand, if what they received is not at all what they expected in terms of quality. If you offer top-quality items and provide great product descriptions with high-resolution photos, positive product reviews will help you sway those near the bottom of the sales funnel.
Benefits search engine performance
Building a search engine optimization strategy is key, especially when it comes to ecommerce. Working on SEO helps you increase traffic to your online store by making you rank higher on search engines like Google. Numerous ecommerce SEO guides focus solely on the structure and the looks of your online store, which completely excludes external factors like product reviews.
While building a well-designed store and publishing high-quality content is a huge part of SEO efforts, product reviews can help you improve the visibility of your products and increase conversion rates. Remember that positive reviews are a good sign that both potential customers and search engines are looking for.
Can help you optimize your product
Product reviews are a priceless source of unbiased feedback and great ideas for making what you sell even better. It is not easy to create something that meets the diverse needs of multiple customer groups, and some negative reviews will confirm this hard truth. However, customer reviews can help you discover the negative aspects of your products and give recommendations on how to improve the situation.
Pay extra attention if certain downsides of a product are mentioned in more than one review. This will help you set priorities and identify what needs to be improved first. Responding to negative reviews is about taking responsibility and addressing the reported issues in a timely manner, showing that your customers' feedback is heard and valued.
Reading negative online customer reviews can also be one of the other ways to do product research. Learn what features your competitors do not include. Customers frequently point these out. This is what you would want to include in your product to stand out from the competition and increase your market share.
Builds trust and loyalty with potential customers
Having product reviews published helps build trust and loyalty by showing that you are open and honest with your customers. Selling high-quality products will inevitably lead to receiving more and more positive online store reviews, which in turn will attract new buyers. Some sellers even offer discounts or gifts for leaving positive product reviews, which can be a great way to encourage your customers to leave feedback.
Customer communication is essential for any ecommerce business. Respond to all feedback you receive to build a strong relationship with your customers and increase your repeat purchase rates. Seeing the proactive approach you take to improving your products and making sure all negative reviews are addressed, those on the fence will be more likely to make a purchase and return for more.
Start selling today
Online product reviews are what keep you and your customers connected. They help you stand out in the saturated market. Let potential customers find the awesome products you are selling with an online store. Starting an ecommerce business is a great way to expand your reach and make more sales.
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