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Did you know that 90% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by online reviews? This means that even if your site lacks reviews, shoppers are still being swayed—though possibly in the direction of your competitors.
In a world of options, the right reviews give your company a competitive advantage. Find out why showcasing product reviews on your site is essential in today’s saturated ecommerce space, and how you can go about gathering them in order to amp up your sales.
Before the Internet, consumers made purchasing decisions largely based on conversations with neighbors and friends, also known as word-of-mouth recommendations. Today, 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as they would a personal referral.
Unlike marketing messages which come straight from the brand, product reviews come from like-minded consumers in similar situations. In this way, real customer reviews can persuade a potential customer to take action and purchase from your company with confidence.
The results are in, and they’re as sad as they are shocking: the first page of search results converts 75% of all clicks (VisionCritical). This means that if your site is not optimized for search, you could be losing critical traffic and leads.
In two recent studies, both Moz and The Local SEO Guide found that online reviews can help a website rank higher on Google’s Local Pack—the search engine’s featured listing—as well as via organic local search (GeoMarketing). The higher your business ranks on search engines like Google, the higher your chance to be seen and, therefore, selected.
Not only do product reviews impact SEO; they also impact conversion. A recent study by SEO service BrightLocal showed that 56 percent of consumers choose businesses shown in Google’s Local Pack based on positive reviews. That’s a whopping 5x more than any other deciding factor.
In this study, it was also discovered that the higher the business rating, the more clicks a search listing garnered through the Local Pack on Google. Just as word-of-mouth recommendations build trust, in the long run, glowing reviews can also garner more clicks to your site and customers for your business.
One of the biggest deterrents to sharing reviews onsite? Fear of negative feedback. The truth is, though, that if you’re not fielding this feedback it could still show up on another site.
Take a look at JetBlue Airways, for example. When an unhappy customer shared a negative experience on social media, the airline was quick to respond—10 minutes quick, to be exact. Understanding the power of word-of-mouth online, JetBlue acknowledged the mishap and vowed to make it right for the customer.
Inviting feedback on your page rightly puts your company’s reputation back in your hands, and not on a third-party site such as Twitter. It also shows you care to listen and you’re open to improving: a valuable outlook, as 78% of consumers say that seeing management respond to online reviews makes them believe the business cares.
Now that you’ve seen what product reviews can do for your business, how can you go about gathering them from your customers?
It may seem counterintuitive, but the most winning solution, in this case, is actually the most obvious: simply ask for a review. Customers like to share their opinions, they just often need a reminder to do so.
Follow up with your customers a week after they’ve received your product—or later, if they aren’t likely to use it right away. Prompts on your site, as well as through a follow-up email, are popular ways to ask for a review.
Just like your checkout page should expedite the purchasing process, the review process should feel just as quick and painless.
At the very least you’re looking for a name, an email address (for contact or verification purposes only), a rating, and clarifying comments. Some businesses like to include a headline, a location, and other information like images or video to boost authenticity.
No matter what you opt for, remember that the easier you make it for customers to leave a review, the more reviews you’re likely to receive.
If requests and reminders prove ineffective, incentives are a great way to garner reviews. Customize the incentive to your target audience: would your customers respond better to rewards in an existing loyalty program, or cash back? What about discounts on future purchases?
With just the right benefit for your customers, you’re likely to see a spike in reviews.
Related: Interested in implementing a referral program to win word-of-mouth marketing? Read our recent blog post on using referrals to grow an online business, here.
Just like the process of leaving a review on your site should be seamless, so, too, should the process of gathering these reviews. Apps like Shopper Approved as well as Product Reviews, a module native to the leading-edge Miva platform, puts control of the review process back in your hands. This module even allows customers to leave reviews from their mobile devices—a necessary benefit for the modern shopper on the go.
Add the Product Reviews module to your Miva ecommerce site today and reap the rewards in store: https://apps.miva.com/product-reviews-1148.html
Showcasing positive product reviews on your ecommerce site bears the potential to increase brand trust and loyalty, improve your SEO ranking, and convert more customers. It’s truly a valuable competitive advantage and overlooked tool to stand out in today’s crowded marketplace.
Boost business with product reviews on your ecommerce site today.
Cheryl Elizaga is a Brand Strategist and Copywriter with nearly a decade of experience catalyzing meaningful, measurable action for Fortune 100 companies and industry pioneers alike. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Cheryl helps ecommerce companies own their brand and harness the tools and technology of the leading Miva platform to drive growth.