Reviews aren’t just testimonials given by buyers but are potent tools and reminders that can make or break a sale on an e-commerce platform. We look why reviews are important in e-commerce.
Reviews Are Important In E-commerce
Here’s why reviews are so very important and have much impact in the e-commerce world.
1. Consumer trust
Reviews provide much needed information and credible insights that users can give regarding the quality and performance of a product. Potential buyers often rely on these reviews to make informed decisions regarding a purchase.
Positive reviews instil confidence and trust among buyers, while negative reviews can ward-off people and businesses can lose a sale.
2. Product information
Reviews provided by users typically contain reliable information regarding a product’s features, benefits and flaws. User reviews are at times even more elaborate than the official product description as the reviews are provided after using the product on several occasions.
This can help other consumers fathom what they are buying and whether it would meet their specific requirements.
3. Quality assurance
Reviews instil a sense of accountability and responsibility in sellers regarding the quality of their products. Higher positive reviews can indicate that a product is reliable and of good quality. But if a product receives poor reviews and negative comments consistently, that would mean the product has concerns that need to be investigated.
4. Improve products with feedback
Utilize valuable constructive feedback from users who point out flaws, this is an opportunity to crease out defects and imperfections.
The seller or the manufacturer can use constructive feedback received to improve the product. Listening and acting on user feedback can help improvise a product. Addressing issues raised by customers can enhance the overall product quality and help enhance the long term value of the product.
5. SEO and visibility
Algorithm considers reviews received when ranking any product in search results.
Products that have higher positive reviews and comments often take higher positions in the SERPs. This in turn increases product visibility to potential clients.
6. Seller reputation
Sellers need to maintain a good reputation among buyers. Positive feedbacks and reviews can help build a seller’s credibility and in turn attract more buyers. On the other hand negative reviews can harm a seller’s reputation and cut down the sales of a product. It can have a cascading effect and hamper sale of other products from the same stable.
7. Competitive advantage
Sellers are aware that positive reviews can give a product significant boost in a competitive marketplace and they value that. Positive reviews differentiate a product from similar offerings, increasing its saleability and augmenting the product’s life cycle.
8. Risk mitigation
In this digital age consumers have several options to search for reviews and find an opinion regarding a product. They are guided by reviews as it can dissuade them from poor purchase decisions. They can learn from others experiences to avoid products that receive negative and poor feedback.
Review best practices for your advantage
Reviews are important in e-commerce and play such an important role in everything from SERP rankings to sales, it’s inevitable that some sellers would try to tame the system by manipulating reviews.
Now many websites are cracking down and revising its review policy to ensure the quality and credibility of reviews. This helps to maintain consumer trust. Sites have prohibited and abolished many practices sellers have indulged to solicit reviews.
This doesn’t mean you should give up on trying to obtain reviews, because there are people out there who will provide a honest review regarding a product. The key is to approach all customers for reviews, while ensuring not to violate any policy.
Reviews: Best Practises
The following are ‘Reviews Best Practices’ that will help boost sales and enhance customer satisfaction.
1. Understand the algorithmic impact
Most sites with an enviable reputation are secretive concerning their review methodology.
But, certain factors such as how recently was the review received and if the purchase has been verified are important factors. Because fresh reviews carry significant value and are more prized for long-term relevancy.
The bottom line is – having more number of reviews would place you higher in search rankings and shoot-up visibility. This in turn would result in better sales.
2. Leverage Best Practises
Among various e-commerce entities, Amazon has developed a program to help facilitate the collection of customer reviews. They follow this procedure for both new and pre-release products on their platform.
Their program targets reviewers who are established and trusted who have a reputation of writing detailed and informative reviews. Amazon categorises such reviews as “Customer Review of Free Product”, to ensure transparency of the review.
Sellers who enrol for such programs provide free items to garner early reviews from unbiased Users. These reviewers demonstrate ethical and high standards in writing truthful reviews. Such a strategy helps improve visibility and rankings, while sales rise by around 28%.
3. Encourage organic reviews
Organic reviews are those that are provided naturally because a user is truly satisfied with a product. This needs to be encouraged, but ensure that these reviews are not engineered or incentivized. Organic reviews help:
- Improve credibility and trustworthiness.
- Builds long-term reputation.
- Buyers to make credible purchase decisions.
- Improve a product’s visibility in search results.
The guaranteed route to obtain organic reviews is by ensuring compliance to policies, as there isn’t risk of penalties or account suspension. Therefore promote clear communication, provide customer service, and high-quality products.
Sellers need to promptly address customer concerns and ensure their products meet or exceed expectations. Sellers need to create informative and engaging product listings, and use positive customer feedback to improve products.
Sellers can follow-up the sale of a product by means like email and request for feedback from customers, but offering will incentives will violate policies.
4. Respond professionally to negative reviews
Reviews are important in e-commerce and businesses selling products will either receive good and bad reviews, this is inevitable.
Always aim to respond professionally to reviews, this will hold your reputation in good stead. All reviews are open to public view and people notice how you respond.
You can minimise damage to your brand by responding professionally. This builds trust with both current and potential customers. For negative comments also, respond professionally, acknowledge the concern and offer a solution. This can help turn dissatisfied customers into loyal ones.
Responding to negative reviews is not easy, but inevitable. How you can go about it is:
- Avoid being defensive and countering any claims. Listen to the customer’s concern and acknowledge their complaint, express empathy and promise to look into it issue.
- Offer possible solutions, seek additional information to clarify any misunderstandings.
- The language you use need to be professional and courteous. Offer an apology when warranted, and get the conversation offline to make it personal and to address the issue directly.
5. Highlight positive reviews in marketing
Getting positive reviews is serendipity. Make sure to highlight them on all possible channels as it builds trust with potential customers. Good reviews showcase product or service quality and value.
Incorporate positive reviews in your marketing by:
- Including them in your product descriptions.
- Having a testimonial section with a combination of reviews and ratings.
- Including them on social media handles.
- Incorporating them in marketing collaterals too.
- Utilising them in ad campaigns or product packaging.
But take explicit permission from customers regarding the use their reviews or testimonials in your marketing. This ensures your marketing practices comply with laid out policies, regulations and ethical practices.
6. Monitor and analyse consistently
Track customer reviews on all channels to keep a tab on customer perceptions. This will help you identify any emerging trends or recurring issues. Overall it improves customer engagement, and helps data-driven improvements.
Amazon has a tool, Amazon CloudWatch that continuously tracks digital experiences of customers. There are also third-party services that collate and analyse reviews. You can efficiently manage your online reputation and address customer feedback proactively with these tools.
Also, establish clear processes to review and respond to customer reviews. This will ensure consistent and timely intervention to customer feedbacks.
7. Stay compliant with website policies
It is imperative to stay compliant with policies. Online platforms demand conformity to their set of rules and guidelines to ensure a level-playing field and a trustworthy marketplace.
Violating policies has far-reaching consequences with suspension or termination of a seller account. It can also cause disastrous long-term business effects.
Clear understanding of do’s and don’ts will promote fair competition as well as build and maintain trust with both customers and other sellers.
Policies ensure compliance and a positive shopping experience. Customers receive a more consistent and reliable shopping experience, that can result in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
8. Learn from your competitors
Study the reviews of your competitors to gain insights into their strengths and weaknesses. With this you can strategize how to differentiate your offerings from the competition and how to outperform them.
Firstly identify your competitors, analyse their customer ratings, recurring complaints and positive comments. Fathom your competitor’s reviews either manually or using review tools or check out services to streamline this process.
Compare your reviews with your competitor’s reviews and identify how to leverage your strengths or address weaknesses. Evaluate pricing strategies, look for competitive advantages, and assess their overall brand reputation.
9. Use third-party tools for better management
There are several tools to manage seller accounts, to streamline operations, optimize sales and enhance overall business performance. This can be done using third-party tools, third party tools can:
- Automate repetitive tasks.
- Manage customer communications.
- Optimise product listings.
- Manage advertising campaigns.
- Provide robust analytics and reporting capabilities.
- Track and manage inventory.
- Expand reach through integration other e-commerce platforms.
Evaluate third-party management tools and invest in the one that sync’s with your specific needs, budget, and goals.
After an Engineering degree and a Diploma in Management I devoted 16+ years working in the automotive industry. My innate skill and extreme passion in writing, encouraged me to adopt it up as a profession. I have been writing for more than 10+ years in the software industry. The 400+ blogs I published are informative, exhaustive and interesting to a professional and causal reader.