Purchase decisions made by customers have always been based on their perception of a business. The trustworthiness of a retail business has played a key role in bringing customers to a shop and achieving sales. Building a reputation and trust in a traditional retail business requires word-of-mouth marketing, where customers recommend your business to the people they know. This method helps businesses build trust over a period of time slowly and steadily.
But the eCommerce scenario is different. eCommerce has a far greater reach and marketing for eCommerce businesses require you to create a strong brand appeal amongst people who are not connected, and are from a much larger demography and geographical location. As a result, word-of-mouth marketing is inadequate and ineffective for eCommerce. Customer reviews in eCommerce is a great substitute for word-of-mouth marketing.
Importance of customer reviews in eCommerce
Finding a good product amongst thousands of similar offerings from different eCommerce businesses is like finding a needle in a haystack. Identifying the right product from a trustworthy business is not easy anymore.
Customers are looking for reassurances from people like them. They need social proof to determine how good a product/business is, before making a purchase decision. So, displaying positive feedback and reviews on your business and products from a vast number of customers is crucial for building trust and achieving success in eCommerce. 72% of consumers will wait until they read reviews before taking action.
Best practices for displaying customer reviews in eCommerce
When you are running a eCommerce business, it is essential to display in different spaces reviews on your business as well as the products. Reviews capture the customers’ attention, create trust on your business and products, and help you achieve sales conversion. Following are some of the best practices in displaying customer reviews in eCommerce.
1. Display customer reviews prominently in product pages and product search
Product search page and product pages are the spaces where customers primarily look for product reviews. This is because, when they find the product they are looking for, they need social proof to confirm and reinforce the faith in the product and business to make a purchase decision. So, displaying customer reviews in these pages is key to achieving sales conversion.
2. Place your product reviews in every platform
In eCommerce, it is essential to be present in every online space frequented by the customers. Customers usually look for product reviews in the search engine, online media, YouTube videos, social media and other online forums. Collecting feedback and displaying reviews in all these platforms using suitable methods and mediums goes a long way in building trust and credibility. These reviews lead new customers into your sales funnel and help you achieve sales.
3. Display testimonials on your website
Websites are authentic sources of information related to your business and your products, and they play an important role in enabling customers to make informed decisions. Displaying testimonials from satisfied customers gives a reassurance to your customers that they are looking at a proven business/product they can rely on.
4. Make your reviews prominent on mobile devices
According to a study by eMarketer, the mobile share of total eCommerce across the world in 2021 was 72.9%. Mcommerce statistics reveal that 67% of customers purchase online using mobile devices. So, it is essential to make ratings and reviews prominent and visible on the smaller displays of the mobile devices to increase sales conversion.
5. Highlight numerical ratings
While detailed reviews can give the customers a better idea about your business and pros and cons of your products, most of the customers primarily look for the overall average ratings in a clearly defined scale. This helps customers judge a product and your business quickly and make a purchase decision. You can also add product ratings when you send abandoned cart emails.
6. Re-purpose reviews that stand out and highlight them everywhere
Constantly look out in every platform for reviews on your business/products that stand out. Share them on all the online spaces where you are present. Highlight the reviews that contain the reviewer’s profile image. This adds credibility to the reviews.
While customer reviews in eCommerce can be useful for customers as well as the businesses, getting reviews from customers can be difficult. Once a customer buys a product, he/she has no obligation to rate your business/products. eCommerce businesses need to actively look for ways to convince them and collect as many reviews as possible. Following are some of the ways in which you can collect customer reviews in eCommerce.
1. You can send a follow-up mail or make a phone call after a customer makes a purchase and ask him/her to review the product.
2. Provide the space for writing a review on your eCommerce website. You can improve the visibility of it by integrating it with your orders history page. You can also add a pop-up page to catch the attention of the customers and collect reviews.
3. Prioritize getting a rating on a scale rather than a qualitative review. It is less time consuming for the customers, and there is a higher chance of customers leaving a star rating compare to a detailed review. Make it optional for them to write a detailed review.
4. Use social media and other platforms to redirect customers as well as other users to leave a review on your business listings on Google and Facebook. Increase in the number of reviews on those platforms improves the SEO and increases the chance of ‘being found’.
5. Respond to the feedback given by your customers and make them feel listened to. It motivates the customers to review your business and products favorably in the long run. Even if they leave negative reviews, write back, follow up with them and resolve their issues. Having a few negative reviews also helps in convincing the customers that the reviews are genuine. 89% of consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
6. Collaborate with journalists, influencers and YouTubers to review products and your business on various platforms. Having backlinks from reputed journalists and media houses improves your search listing.
7. Incentivize your customers for leaving reviews by providing them with discount codes and offers.
8. Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews from mobile devices by designing a mobile friendly feedback form.
9. Keep collecting reviews on an ongoing basis, as about 85% of consumers consider any review older than three months to be irrelevant, according to a study by Brightlocal.