When choosing the best ecommerce platform for your small business, you’ll want to be sure that it allows you to enable customer reviews on your ecommerce website.
It can understandably be stressful to read what your customers’ experiences have been with your business and the products that you sell online.
Nevertheless, customer reviews play an integral role in an ecommerce store’s sales. Clear honest reviews are one of the top things in the list of what ecommerce customers want in an online store.
Besides allowing customer reviews to show up on your website, you should actively take steps to request honest feedback after each order.
So, why are customer reviews so important to online stores all around the world?
Here are seven critical benefits that customer reviews can deliver to your business, no matter what products you sell!
1. Affect buying decisions
If you have a new ecommerce business and are looking to gain customers online, you need to examine your website from a consumer’s perspective. How do they know that your products and store are high quality and trustworthy?
The majority of online shoppers look at a product’s overall rating and read at least a few customer reviews before finalizing a purchase decision. They may be doing so to help them get a better idea of the item’s features, reliability, or other attributes.
In addition to checking out product reviews, they’ll often want to see a review or several of the ecommerce store itself.
Store ratings are usually offered on a numbered scale or with a star system. These reviews may be accompanied by customer comments, and they provide shoppers with detailed information about their unique experiences with various aspects of their purchase.
Most of the comments in business reviews tend to be about the products. However some feedback may be related to delivery time, customer service, and other elements of their total shopping experience with the store.
Today’s ecommerce consumers generally look for products that have more reviews and ratings. In fact, some may completely avoid products with little or no customer feedback.
A high number of customer reviews indicates that the product has been heavily tested by others. In addition, when many reviews have a similar experience with a product, it gives shoppers confidence that they’ll have that experience too.
Remember that online shoppers can’t personally interact with a product before making a decision.
Pictures and online videos can reveal some important aspects, but customers may still have questions that can be cleared up by reading reviews. Reviews can help customers specifically learn about sizing, features, quality, and other relevant factors that can influence their buying decisions.
A few negative comments won’t necessarily hurt your company or the sales numbers for that product. However, this only holds true if there are many positive comments and ratings to outweigh them.
Note that it may be very difficult for an ecommerce store to sell products that only have a few comments when these comments are overwhelmingly negative. For this reason, it’s essential that you reach out to unhappy customers and determine how to improve your product or service as soon as possible!
2. Increase credibility and trust
Online shoppers know that product descriptions are written to entice them to make a purchase and help the business sell more goods.
They assume that product descriptions will tell them all about the positive aspects of a product and leave out its negative qualities. Put simply, consumers read reviews to gain a well-rounded understanding about what to expect.
Reviews can support all of the positive features that are highlighted in your product descriptions.
However, as important as it is for your products to have positive reviews, reviews are often more credible when also they mention some of the negative aspects of the product.
For new customers who might not be familiar with your ecommerce website, seeing a variety of reviews can instill a sense of confidence and trust in your business.
3. Show you which products are doing well
Knowing which products your customers love can play an essential role in determining how to adjust your product line going forward. Perhaps a certain product’s features or materials weren’t as high quality as you’d thought.
Removing products from your inventory that aren’t living up to your customers’ standards can ultimately result in a higher customer satisfaction rating going forward. It allows for better overall management of your product line and directly feeds into higher revenue.
How can you know which products are doing well? You can’t rely on sales numbers alone to tell you the whole story.
After all, many customers could purchase a product and have a terrible experience with it. Soliciting customer reviews and reading each review carefully is one of the best ways to obtain free insight into how well your goods are doing.
It can help you gain valuable awareness that enables you to make smart decisions about your online store’s products.
4. Demonstrate how you can improve the customer experience
The majority of your online store’s customer reviews will be associated with a specific product purchased. However, customers don’t always limit their comments or rating to the product.
They often instead take advantage of the opportunity to discuss their total experience with your ecommerce business and website itself. This may cover the checkout process, shipping speed, the condition of the item when it arrived, experiences with your customer service department, and more.
The customer experience directly feeds into overall satisfaction with your ecommerce store. It also impacts your ability to generate positive word-of-mouth advertising to attract potential customers to your site and generate more sales.
While you can send customers a post-purchase survey, reading reviews may give you the same valuable insight without the need to add an extra step.
Some customers may do more than simply complain about a negative experience with your ecommerce store’s processes or products. They may provide you with thoughtful ideas for improving your website features and the items you offer.
Some of these suggestions may be based on their experiences with other ecommerce stores.
For this reason, their comments could help you and your store keep from falling behind the competition. This information allows you to plan what changes need to be made to supply customers with the best experience possible.
5. Strengthen search engine optimization (SEO)
The content on your website and how recently that content was added directly affect your ranking on search engines such as Google. Customer reviews play into this because they add relevant information for search engines to review when crawling.
With a greater number of reviews, there’s more information written about your business, which in turn increases your site’s importance and relevance in Google’s eyes.
What’s more, customer reviews can improve your ranking on search engines with minimal effort on your part. They’re a free way to help your website climb to the top of the rankings!
6. Boost customer loyalty
Customers who review products usually feel strongly about those products one way or another, whether it’s regarding their features, price, or other aspects. You understandably want to encourage those customers who are thrilled with their purchase to leave their comments on your website.
Of course, you can’t ask customers to leave positive versus negative comments. However, you can offer incentives for customers who leave comments on your ecommerce website or on social media platforms.
One of the best ways to gradually build a solid online community is by having satisfied customers leave reviews. These are customers who may be just as passionate about your brand and your store’s products as you are.
When a customer leaves a review, regardless if it’s positive or negative, be sure to thank them for doing so. This helps you to build connections with the people who buy from your online store, which also often increases loyalty to your brand.
7. Help promote your business
Customer reviews can be an important component in your ecommerce store’s marketing campaigns. You could even say that they serve as the virtual alternative to traditional word-of-mouth advertising for your website.
Each review posted online about your products reinforces your company’s branding and product descriptions. More than that, reviews are free testimonies.
As mentioned earlier, because reviews can bolster search engine results, they feed into your efforts to boost your organic marketing efforts. Building a solid SEO strategy takes ample time and energy, but it can ultimately drive a healthy stream of targeted traffic directly to your website at no cost.
If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to reach potentially millions of customers, influencer marketing deserves a closer look.
An ecommerce business will generally offer an influencer free merchandise to test. A positive review from an influencer who’s popular with your target audience can give your business a tremendous bump in popularity as well as sales.
Some of your online store’s customers will return to your website to leave a review on their own accord after they receive their shipment.
These are often people who feel very strongly about their positive or negative experience with your business or products. Many satisfied customers, however, will simply use the product as they intended without making the effort to leave a review.
You should reach out to all of your customers to encourage more of them to provide feedback, on your site or otherwise.
A convenient and cost-effective way to do this is simply by sending a follow-up email a day or two after they receive their order. This email is also a good opportunity to inquire about issues with the merchandise that your business may need to address to ensure customer satisfaction.
There are a number of strategies to encourage a greater response from your request for reviews. Consider offering entry into a drawing, free samples, a discount on a future purchase from your website, or another perk.
The benefits of ensuring that your site features customer reviews will continue to be relevant to your business going forward. Because of this, your efforts to solicit reviews and to maximize the advantages that they bring to the table should be constant.