The following is a guest post by Kunjal Panchal. Kunjal Panchal is a Digital Strategist, having 5+ years of experience in the field of Internet Marketing. She is a social media geek, a complete foodie and enjoys trying varied cuisines. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Let’s assume you want to buy a fancy looking tank top from a recently launched online fashion store. What is the first thing you look for?
Price? Yes, but, only before you make the order.
Size? Maybe. But after checking the price.
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Delivery. Again, before you pay for it.
Customer reviews?? Oh yes! You would love to know what other customers who have bought the product felt about it, right?
If so, you are one among the 84% of customers who BrightLocal estimates to take online customers reviews at par with personal recommendations.
84% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations
Image Source: Brightlocal.com
User-generated reviews are a gold mine for any online store. If you thought they are kept just for the sake of collecting user feedback, you got it wrong.
Consumer reviews have a far-reaching impact than just spreading the gospel about a product or a service. They are the harpoons that help stores to hook and bait new potential customers to convert into buyers.
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How exactly do consumer reviews help boost conversion rates? We delve into the details in this facts-based article.
Consumer reviews influence customer behavior
Consumer reviews instill confidence in the minds of prospective customers that the product is worth buying. It negates every possible doubt of quality, delivery or pricing about the product. It is no wonder that consumer reviews are seconded to personal opinions themselves, because, we wish to know from others before we make a buying decision ourselves.
They push search engine ranking higher
As genuine user-generated content, consumer reviews have sufficient keyword density that search engines can crawl for indexing. This helps the product landing page to be ranked higher for related keyword searches. In other words, you are getting organic traffic for no cost at all.
Furthermore, Google displays rich snippets containing consumer reviews and ratings along with the search engine ranking. If your product reviews are positive, it will get more impressions and click through rates than search results which are devoid of reviews.
Consumer reviews are largely shared on social media. It creates a viral effect as the product, and its benefits are spread in social circles in loops. From the store perspective, there is no cost involved, since right from the content to the sharing, everything happens from the customer’s side. The end result = more customer reach, brand recognition and cost savings. Not to mention outwitting competition in social presence.
Security is appreciated
Three-fourths of customers prefer dealing with stores that are secured by an Extended Validation SSL Certificate. An EV SSL Certificate establishes the website’s ownership and also the safety of dealing online. It definitely reflects on the consumer reviews as a positive sign. As customers feel safe dealing with your website, they keep coming back for more, thus improving sales.
Proven strategies to collect more consumer reviews
Now that you know the importance of consumer reviews, here is how you can collect more from customers without having to pay for it. Ideally, most eCommerce platforms come with provisions for consumer reviews. So all you have to do is ask, monitor and deal with the reviews for increasing sales volumes.
Ask for it immediately
Like dishes served hot, the best time to ask for consumer reviews is as soon as the delivery is completed. There are 2 benefits of asking for reviews immediately:
- Customers will be on a high note on receiving the package
- They will be in a state of mind to publicize their enthusiasm about the product right away without delay
Most importantly, the chances of negative reviews are far less unless the packaging or product is at its worst.
Reward for reviews
Incentivizing your reviews is a great way to collect more reviews. Gift coupons, additional discounts, free shipping, etc. can be rewarded for customers who display consistency in providing consumer reviews. In due course of time, it will become a habit, and you can even do away with review promotions to save costs.
Reach out to influencers
81% of marketers confirm influencer marketing to be an effective channel –
Influencer marketing is a channel that exploded with activity in the recent years. Influencers are people who are trusted and admired by a vast populace. They are celebrities or brands who hold technical knowledge and recognition in the given field. When an influencer shares a Facebook status, Tweet, Instagram image or LinkedIn Pulse about a brand or a product, its demand shoots up instantly.
This is how influencer marketing helps consumer reviews:
Highlight positive reviews
Managed to win some positive reviews from customers who loved your products. Turn them into baits for more reviews by highlighting them.
- Show reviews on your website
- Tag and publicize the reviews on social media pages
- Display average customer review score or rating on the top
- Share the reviews on classified pages and business listings
Deal with negative reviews
No matter how good your service is, there will be negative reviews. There is no escape from it. While you cannot hide or shun away from negative reviews, the best way forward is to deal with it upfront.
All popular brands have pitched into social media to address negative reviews and customer woes. Check out how JetBlue Airways turned a negative review to its advantage using instant feedback.
Consumer reviews are great tools to drive traffic and conversion to your online store. The best part is that they are free and you don’t have to pay anything to drive it. Customers trust online consumer reviews 12 times more than they believe manufacturer information or sponsored posts. There is a trust element involved in it that can be leveraged for more selling.
So set up a transparent customer review for your store and boost your selling right away.