Word of mouth has always been the best way to advertise a product or service and continues to be so. Nowadays communication has evolved but people’s opinion is still precious in business. Because of this, it’s necessary to emphasize the role of online reviews in the current economy. Review’s role is simple and brief. They tell the audience that the things that you are selling are good and you can be trusted. This happens every day. Just think about your process of choosing when you want to buy something. What’s the first thing you do? You Google your object of desire and start to search for info from people who have already used the product. Review’s checking is becoming an essential stage before purchasing.
Stats can make clear the situation. Spiegel Research Center show that nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. According to the BrightLocal study, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends. Furthermore, displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%.
What does it mean? It means that if you have a company or e-commerce, and you’re underestimating the power of online reviews, you’re making a mistake.
They can make or break you helping the ranking of your business to be higher or lower in the results. So, the more positive reviews are, the higher the companies appear in the search results. The consequence is trust and the probability to get more clients, and it could be perfect, especially for small companies.
We are all connected
Basically, anyone has access to the internet, and this means a lot for e-commerce. The internet traffic boom is the main cause of the rise of the online review’s importance and is traveling very fast in the last years. There are 4,1 billion of internet users at the end of 2018, compared to 3,9 billion of mid-2018 and about 3.7 billion Internet users in late 2017. These numbers are more impressive if we consider that an estimated 1.92 billion people are expected to purchase something online in 2019. We can say that technologic innovations have changed consumer behavior. Companies have to benefit from this situation to improve their online visibility.
Trust is the key
In a world where physical obstacles are slowly fading away, the mental ones are still very important. The concept of trust plays a central role in business and this is hidden in buyer feedbacks. This is called “social proof” and it’s fundamental for the online reputation of a brand. People want to have reassurance from other buyers, in order to make sure that they are not wasting their money on bad products. Online reviews can help to establish credibility and trust, especially from a potential new customer who may not know what your business is and what do you sell. So the trust that possible clients place in online reviews may turn into benefits to your activity.
Review effects on SEO
There is a strong connection between reviews and SEO. As we know, the search engine works with algorithms that index several parameters and information incapable of providing to the users the right perspective. In this regard, all about online reviews is very important because affect the company’s positioning on the search results. That’s because Google has established that user’s feedback is one of the best ways to give credibility to e-commerce. In particular, reviews become structured data through Rich Snippets. Never forget the power of user-generated contents. With reviews, clients create new keywords and content that could improve your e-commerce visibility. So it’s clear that SEO is fundamental to the success of the online business
How to get more reviews?
Not all clients leave feedback after purchasing on your e-commerce. Maybe some of them are not interested in leaving a review or merely they forget to do it. Using a platform of review’s management could be the best choice to avoid a lost opportunity. This kind of tools helps you encourage clients to have an active behavior even after the purchase. For example, those platforms send a reminder e-mail or SMS to buyers, sometimes rewarding them with coupons or gifts. In this way, companies try to drive clients to leave a review but also to make another purchase in the site thanks to those special conditions. Anyway, it’s possible to get more reviews, making the process easier, for example including a guide on the website.
I received a review. What I’m supposed to do?
Interaction with clients is crucial to improving the engagement, so reply to user’s thought is always a good idea. Therefore, the first thing to do is to read and answer them. You should always thank the customer to have left a review after the purchase. This is a way to show to clients that you take care of them. It’s essential to build a long-term relationship and to increase the trust making them feel at home in your e-commerce. Next step is to improve the business following your user’s reviews. Feedback is useful to understand what you can and cannot do, discovering which are your strengths or weakness that you are not able to see by yourself.
What if they are bad?
Online reviews can be a double-edged sword. It’s possible that a customer has had a bad experience with your company and decide to share it with the world. No worries! People don’t trust companies who don’t have negative feedback. According to The Guardian, 95% of consumers, suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores. Consequently, negative reviews are not the end of the world; you can actually turn it into an opportunity. The best thing to do is to answer in the best possible way, without being rude, actually thanking the customer for the feedback. It’s important that the other possible clients know that your company faces undesired reviews with professionalism and transparency.
The dark side of the reviews
Some companies try to take advantage of the power of the online reviews faking them. This is the easiest way to boost sales, particularly when business is still at the beginning and the traffic is low. In the last year, the defense systems against fake reviews have been reinforced. In fact, there are sites and tools who catch and stop AI or robots who do fake feedbacks. For these reasons, some companies have found an alternative method. They have started to pay fake buyers to leave fake reviews. This has led to the birth of a new market where a lot of people are gaining writing lies. Fortunately, some of the platforms already mentioned, let users leave reviews only about real purchases. In other words, only buyers can write feedback.
In conclusion, online reviews take your business to the next level and build strong confidence in your brand. A lot of companies are underrating this aspect losing ground to their competitors. The bad management or the lack of a review strategy may lead to irreparable damage for the business or a missed opportunity.