In the world of online shopping, it is not possible to experience the products that you want to buy physically. This creates a scope for an innovation that gets the customers to trust the quality of products that they are looking to purchase. Online reviews is that innovation that helps out the customers in their quest of getting full detail of a particular product before bringing it into their homes. Customers look to make sure that they are purchasing something durable and worth their money and online reviews assist them with that.

In recent times, various online review sites such as Yelp! and Facebook have taken the center stage, and getting an opinion on anything has become quite effortless for online buyers. The role of online reviews has grown in drastic measures over the last 2-3 years as helps a lot in winning business and maintaining a positive reputation in the market.

Who Exactly Are Reading The Online Reviews?

If we are looking at the overall statistics then we will find out that 91% of the online buyers read the reviews and 84% of them trust it.

Another interesting stat suggests that a customer who spends 31% more on a retailer has earned excellent reviews from the previous customers.

However, it is a roller coaster ride, and there bumps along the way in the form of negative reviews. According to a study, it was revealed that around 82% of the buyers reading reviews are seeking out negative reviews.

This is a trait to note of but there is a positive side to it which indicates that users spend almost five times more on sites while interacting with negative reviews with an 85% increase in conversion rate. More the reviews, the easier it becomes for the customers to trust a brand and its products. One study revealed a customer in total reads around 40 reviews before placing his trust on a specific item.

A report came up with a stat that products have 270% more chances of being sold if it has at least 5 reviews on it.

Do New Customers Trust Online Customer Reviews?

do customers trust online reviews
Source: Statista

It is quite safe to say that with a large number of review platforms coming into the trend and the level of trust people have in reviews, your product is getting noticed by customers all across the globe.

Reasons That Make Online Reviews A Must For Your Online eCommerce Store

Why eCommerce Reviews MatterOnline reviews play a key role in opening up your online store to the customers and those reviews turn out to be positive than it attracts customers in bulk, leaves a positive impact on your overall sales, and rapidly increase your purchases. So, let us have a close look at some of the major reasons that make online reviews paramount for your online store.

#1. Product Reviews Help In Trust Building

retail ecommerce sales worldwide 2014 2023
Retail e-commerce sales worldwide from 2014 to 2023(in billion U.S. dollars)

In 2019, the global ecommerce market amassed a figure of $3.5 trillion. There are numerous options in terms of brands for the online buyers and if not presented with a solution of trusting the products, it becomes almost impossible for the buyers to give away their trust. Without a doubt, physically experiencing an item is the way best of judging a product, however, in the online market, it is not feasible which makes the reviews the next best option.

A decent number of reviews on the quality and durability of a product can go a long way in assisting customers to place their trust in that item and also create an online reputation for the product. Reviews increase the chances of a product to be sold by a massive 63%.

#2. Online Reviews Help Out In Customer Decision-making

While shopping online, customers get even more perplexed about the choices they need to make. There are three steps that almost every buyer follows,

  • Spending too much energy and time in evaluating products
  • Non-stop reading the reviews
  • Comparing products before they finally conclude.

Reviews assist the buyers by removing the layers of a product and gaining a deeper knowledge about the product including its dimensions and material. A product might look a little small in comparison to what a customer is looking for, however previous customer reviews that highlight its size can make the customer at ease and carry on with the buying process.

#3. Good Number Of Reviews Lead To Increase in Sales

It is a common fact that people can easily trust a thing that has been approved by others in large numbers. This phenomenon works brilliantly in the online market too, where reviews left over by previous customers on a specific product can have a tremendous effect on the sales of that product. Positive reviews on a product increase the chances of a product being sold.

Biased advertising from brands is not luring in customers these days which suggests that people are looking towards reviews as proof of the trustworthiness of online products. Reviews are trusted 12 times more than the marketing products and this number is enough to suggest that social proof in any sphere of life.

#4. Emphasize Problem-Solving

Your business and its products will not be showered with positive reviews all the time and you have to accept this fact. However, negative reviews, if taken on the chin, can help you identify the ideas you needed to improve all along. Feedbacks can act as a catalyst to make your business world-class.

There are categories of negative reviews. In the first category, you confront an angry customer who misinterpreted a situation and left an unnecessary comment in the review section. The second category takes your focus on the repetitive negative reviews you receive on a specific product. The second category reviews need to be addressed and improve the product that the customers are complaining about.

According to statistics, around 94% of the customers dropped the idea of buying just based on the negative reviews so if you zero in on the problem affecting the customers and correct it then you will keep a large portion of your customers.

#5. Reviews Lend support To SEO

All ecommerce businesses aim to rank high in the ranking of SERPs as it would keep them in the eyes of the online buyers. However, creating an SEO-friendly presence would suck up a lot of your time and energy. Online reviews can ease that pressure off your shoulders. Online buyers tend to use only keywords like the name of a particular product, in their online reviews. This step creates more content on the internet in association with you.

This helps your business in two ways,

  • When customers search keywords related to your store then your store would occur in their search list more frequently thereby attracting more traffic.
  • Secondly, users would be able to read the positive reviews of your products.
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How To Extract Maximum From The Benefits Of Online Reviews

Yes, we have understood that online reviews prove to an asset in building a successful ecommerce business, however, one needs to understand how to unlock the full potential of these online reviews. If business owners don’t learn to reap the benefits of online reviews then would be missing out on a lot of profits. So, let us jump straight into making the full use of numerous benefits of online reviews and

Look Out For Keywords For Your Products & Services

You must be having some keywords in your mind related to your products and services but that doesn’t mean that they will coincide with the keywords that your customers use online to search your store online. Reviews left by customers on your products will help you identify the keywords that your customers most commonly use when they buy your products. You can now use these identified keywords to spur on your SEO campaigns.

Escalate Brand awareness

In an ideal world, your brand needs to exist in as many places as possible as this increases the chances of customers finding your brand store, what you specialize in and how are you going to improve the living standards of your customers. Reviews on all these places will put you in the limelight and attract an audience organically. Reviews on platforms like Yelp! Or Facebook will put your brand right at the top whenever customers will search for companies in your industry.

Use Of PR & Influencer Campaigns To Highlight The Positive Reviews

You need to put your positive reviews on the show and let them do the talking instead of you promoting the brand. Positive reviews would be enough to make the customers trust your brand without you having to waste any of your energy.

Press releases in marketing content are one way of publicizing your products while using advertisements through influencers is another way of promoting your brand. The second method is a little bit costlier in comparison to the first one.

Ways Of Receiving Online Reviews

Customer reviews will indeed come naturally as your brand grows in stature but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything to attract them at a quicker rate. We will be presenting you with some of the ways through will you will be able to pull in more and more customers to leave reviews and feedback.

Making The Process Of Leaving A Review Effortless

If several steps involved in leaving a review are as minimum as possible, then there are high chances that customers will leave a review on your product. You can include links to your Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp! In marketing emails and also on your webpage to make the process of posting reviews effortlessly.

To go a notch higher, you can choose to leave a simple review submission form on the bottom of your official website and product pages.

Providing Discounts And Offers To Your Customers

Every person loves a discount or a special offer on the products they like and if you provide that to your users in exchange for reviews then it will enhance your progress. When a user purchases something, a week or two later, email them asking for feedback in exchange for a discount on future purchases or a promo code for free shipping or participation in a rewards program. Providing customer credits is another incentive that you can offer.

Using this strategy is useful but don’t only expect positive reviews in exchange. You should be demanding honest feedback and opinions so that you can improve upon what you are already doing as a company.

Ask Your Customers For Reviews

This is the most simple and also the most effective way of gaining reviews. You can ask for reviews from your customers on your checkout page in the form of a pop-up after purchase or via an email request after the item has been delivered by your delivery guy. Simply asking for reviews can make a world of difference to your business.

Some famous online stores even include QR codes, links to Yelp! Pages or fillable review forms to make the whole process easier for customers.

Answer Your Customer’s Feedback

Customers want to as if they matter and answering their feedback and reviews will make them feel wanted. Google is a prime example of this and it is a known fact that responding to your reviews will assist your SEO in a major way. Prioritize responding to your reviews and you will see more and more and reviews coming in as a result.

Responding even with a single-word reply will make the customers feel special and upon noticing this gesture from your brand, other customers will be encouraged to leave a positive review on your products and services. Don’t just reply to the positive reviews, make sure that you respond to the negative ones also. According to some studies, it was revealed that if you respond to even negative reviews positively then 34% of the customers entirely deleted their negative comments.

Send Out Customer Surveys

Surveys prove to be a great alternative to get feedback from customers even in the areas where they are not inclined to suggest feedback. After a product being sold to a customer, you can deliver an email to that customer asking him to provide feedback on a series of questions such as checkout process, ease of navigation, product quality, and shipping speed. This will help you out in getting an honest opinion regarding the whole procedure of shipment. Feedback provided in the comment section by customers can be shown as reviews to the latest arriving customers to encourage them to post further reviews.

Making The Asking Process Automatic

You don’t have to send an email to your customers every week manually. There is an option of an automated email that can be sent after a week to the customers asking for a review. Apart from this, one can also use cookies to track website visitors and generate pop-ups. These tricks don’t require too much effort but can generate a tremendous amount of results.

Earning Online Reviews From Well-Established Review Sites

Every review posted by a customer is of real value to a customer, however, some reviews are more valuable in comparison to others. Customers want to read as many reviews as they can but reviews on third-party sites cannot be manipulated by businesses in any way which places a high-value price tag on them. Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, Better Business Bureau, Yellow Pages, Trustpilot are some of the sites that offer genuine reviews to their customers as that feedback is associated with real accounts linked to actual identities. So, we present to you some of the sites that present real genuine reviews.

Yelp! Reviews

Yelp-reviesYelp! is one of the most trusted names in the world of reviews as it has been doing its job for the last 15 years. Yelp! has witnessed its fair share of controversies with claims being made against them that positive reviews get deleted if businesses don’t agree to promote their brand on Yelp!. Despite all this chaos, Yelp! has been going strong about its business.

Unlike Google and Facebook, they use a different algorithm in which they favor some reviews over the others, hiding the remaining ones under the small heading which reads “reviews that are not recommended at the moment” at the bottom of the page. In this way, reviews posted by people with a strong site presence are highlighted over people with new accounts that have good to offer.

Yelp! is a trusted name in the online community and no matter how it operates even an increment of a single star from them increases the revenue by as much as 9%. On the flip side, a negative review from them can dent the progress made by a particular business and those under a three-star rating can start to feel the heat.

Google Reviews

Google-ReviewsGoogle can be described as a prime authority in the world of the web and even their reviews hold a major significance. Google My Business provides information of all sorts taking from contact details to hours of operation to millions of web users. Apart from all this, their review section is well-trusted. Things that make Google meaningful is how effortless it is to access and how it is tied to only individual businesses that eliminate any scope of confusion.

Google considers reviews as an integral part of determining the search engine rankings with reviews taking up to 9% weight of the total formula. This is the reason why Google reviews are considered as one of the most important avenues present in the market.

Facebook Reviews

facebook reviewsAll this time Facebook only entertained standard reviews, however, in recent years, it integrated with the process of feedback which has benefitted the businesses in a big way. According to Facebook, this system has worked wonderfully as every two out of three users pay a visit to a local business page at least once every week and one in every three make use of the reviews and recommendations to affect the buying decisions of the customers.

Facebook has always permitted users to ask for recommendations, however, now the findings are visible on the individual pages of the businesses. They provide some extra detail about how our businesses are looked upon online which provides something extra to Facebook users before coming to a decision.

Niche Online Reviews

These types of online may not be as popular as some of the big names that we mentioned above but they can prove to be of a lot of help to smaller online outlets certain to consumers. Forums, Reddit, Personal blogs are some sources of reviews for people associated with smaller markets and in a large number of cases these type of posts turns out to be of real value.

Wrapping Up

Online reviews is one of the best marketing strategy going around in the field of online business as it provides impeccable inputs on all the products and services. Online business owners need to understand that they will be receiving both negative and positive reviews but they have to value both of them if they are looking to build something that has never been before. Constructive criticism in the firm of negative reviews will help the business improve leaps and bounds. So, every business should place a price tag on online reviews and must integrate it with their working system.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.