eCommerce Product Reviews are the Ultimate Marketing Tool for Sellers, and not just because they’re a way of incorporating two of the biggest eCommerce trends of 2016 into your strategy (that’s Social Commerce and User Generated Content), but also because product reviews can dramatically influence consumer purchasing decisions and boost your stores sales and conversion rates in a big way.
If you want to understand the vast power and value of product reviews, take a look at these recently published statistics:
- Social media is driving much higher increases of eCommerce traffic than any other online channel – we’re talking about a close to 200% increase between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015!
- According to a survey conducted by Invesp Consulting, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
- Customers who read product reviews are 105% more likely to make a purchase while visiting and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with UGC. (Econsultancy)
It’s very clear that product reviews are a vital component of any eCommerce marketing strategy, and that they’re so powerful is because product reviews can so easily be used in a marketing strategy to target consumers and influence purchasing decisions. In a number of different places, and in a number of different ways.
Here are the top five reasons product reviews really are the ultimate marketing tool:
#1 Product Reviews = Unbiased, Relatable & User Friendly Information
A study by Hubspot found that 70% of consumers trust fellow consumer reviews more than advertisements, and the reason is so simple.
Reviews are the modern and desired alternative to technical product documentation that manufacturers provide businesses and consumers. Product reviews are the user-friendly and unbiased product documentation created for consumers by consumers, which makes it content that they can understand and relate to.
If consumers are provided with product information that is created by their fellow consumers (UGC); product information that they know is user-tested, that they can understand and relate to – and trust – then they’ll be far more likely to purchase the product they’re looking for on a store with product reviews then a store with none.
#2 The Trust Factor
Trust is a number one factor that affects purchasing decisions online. A recent report found that 67% of consumers read 6 reviews or less before they feel they can trust a business enough to make a purchase. Why? Because product reviews are created by consumers and that makes products which have reviews trustworthy, which in turns lets the consumer know that the store and the seller are trustworthy and reputable too.
Product reviews are one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to build trust in your brand and in you, the seller. And if you don’t believe us, take a look at what Mark Hayes, Direct of Communications at Shopify has to say on the matter:
“The increasing prevalence of phishing scams, malware, and just plain shoddy customer service makes consumers more wary with their clicks than ever before – which means that trust indicators on your website are more important than ever before”
The risk of fraud concerns consumers and that means that indicators of honesty and reliability on your store are absolutely vital to consumers and their purchasing decisions.
#3 Social Proof
Social proof is a psychological theory that explains how people conform to and are driven by the actions of other people and, subsequently, internalize those opinions as their own, and it’s a theory that holds true for eCommerce. Products and brands can become significantly more credible if the buzz around them comes for the consumers themselves.
Consumer opinions, in the form of ratings and reviews they provide for a product, effectively provide a seal of approval for that product and the store that sells it. Consumers who can easily find a review for a product they want to buy will be driven by the actions of the review submitter straight to your store, because that’s just how we humans work.
According to PeopleClaim, 70% of customers consult reviews or ratings before making a final purchase, while Get Amassador found that 74% consumers identify word of mouth as key influencer in their purchasing decision – which just proves how other people’s opinions and actions – and reviews – impact purchasing decisions.
This theory doesn’t only work for product reviews, its applicable to seller rating scores too.
If individual reviews can impact consumers, an aggregated score can serve as an even more powerful form of social proof for potential buyers – and it does! A study found that a 10% increase in customer satisfaction score results in a 12% increase in trust from customers!
Social proof helps customers make purchasing decisions; it makes them feel confident about their choices and part of something bigger – a brand, a business. Essentially, its the emotion factor of purchasing decisions, and it targets the new generation of smart shoppers.
#4 Improving Customer Experience
Customer experience is just as important as it has been in recent years, if not more, because eCommerce businesses are growing exponentially, and with it the purchasing choices that consumers have to make.
We all know that human attention spans are shorter than ever, shorter than that of a goldfish in fact, at just 8 seconds, so everything that you and your business does to improve the customer experience and make it more attractive for consumers counts. Whether you optimize your website for mobile users, implement customer personalization features or provide clear, user-friendly and unbiased product reviews and opinions, catering to what the customer needs and wants isn’t just a nice touch, its necessary.
Short, informative and trustworthy reviews feed are a customer-centric approach that allows consumers the opportunity to be heard and be a part of the success and growth of your business. Everyone wants to be heard and their opinions to matter, and product reviews do even more than that- they also compel consumers to become loyal customers and to recommend others to do the same.
#5 Helps Small Businesses
One of the biggest challenges that smaller and newer businesses face is building up their brand trust and reputation. Limited marketing budgets and sparse brand exposure makes it very difficult to compete against big and popular brands.
Product reviews are an effortless and organic method of promoting your brand and encouraging consumers to purchase from your store and give your business a chance. Reviews don’t just have to stay on your store website, you can easily share them on social media to drive new visitors to your store. A little bit of creativity and a touch of customer-centricity and your store will stand out from the crowd.
It doesn’t matter who your competitors are, big or small, you need to establish your store as the ‘go-to’ for the products you sell. The more reviews and ratings your products generates, the more your store is seen as #1.
Reviews have proven to produce an uplift in sales – on average by 18% which just shows that product reviews aren’t merely a form of User Generated Content (UG), nor a method of embracing social commerce, its so much more than that.
It gives your customers what they want and need in order to make informed purchasing decisions, while serving an even greater purpose – giving you the opportunity to maximize the potential of your online store.
Reviews are actually the ultimate weapon for eCommerce sellers.