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E-commerce: The Importance of Online Reviews

From holiday destinations to mobile phones, it’s becoming increasingly rare for consumers to purchase an item without reading through several reviews first. It’s estimated 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase.

In an ideal world, every one of your customers will write a glowing review on their experience with your product and company. But unfortunately, it’s simply impossible to create a product that meets the needs of every single person.

In this article, we explore the advantages of customers leaving online reviews, how to encourage them to leave more reviews as well as the best customer review platforms to use for your business.  

 

Why You Should Ask for Consumers to Leave Reviews

What separates your company from all your competitors? It’s gold stars and customer reviews.

Shoppers want to learn about other shoppers’ experiences so nowadays it’s extremely common for customers to rate their experiences with your business.

These reviews, or lack of reviews, make it easier for customers to quickly compare competitors, get a feel for whether your business can be trusted and how good your products actually are.

Below we’ve highlighted 6 reasons as to why you should encourage your consumers to leave an online review for your business:

1. Online reviews increase confidence in new consumers and help to boost loyalty with existing customers

2. Online reviews improve your SEO rankings

3. Online reviews improve click-through rates on search engines

4. Online reviews bring credibility to your business by showcasing a variety of opinions in your review section

5. Online reviews highlight the areas for improvement in your business i.e. customer service, a particular product, etc.

6. Online reviews improve landing page conversions

7. Online reviews lead to fewer complaints and deduction in returns as customers can see any negative points about experiences before purchasing 

 

How to Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Last month we saw the launch of Google’s new campaign Dear Local. In the two short clips, we see heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua and BAFTA-winning actress Sheridan Smith introduce their local areas and each tell their story about how they like them. The emotive adverts call on viewers to support local businesses by leaving an online review.

New research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Google revealed 70% of local business owners consider word-of-mouth or online recommendations to be the best way for customers to offer support in today’s challenging climate, while 51% believe online reviews can boost business.  

 

Here are 3 main tips and tricks on how to get customers to leave reviews:

 

1. Use Email to Ask Customers to Leave a Review

The best time to capture a product review is when your customer has just received their new item and is still extremely enthusiastic about it.

Taking into account delivery times, send out an email a week or 10 days after the product has been delivered and say how you hope they are enjoying their new purchase and ask them to leave feedback.

 

2. Ask Your Following on Social Media to Review Your Business

People are following your company page for a reason so put them to good use by asking for reviews. Make it as easy as possible by posting a link to your review page next to a simple question asking whether they would recommend your service and why or what they thought of the product they purchased.

 

3. Integrate Promotions and Incentivise Existing Customers

Your time is valuable and so is your customers. You could incentivise your existing customers to leave a review by offering a discount on their next purchase. The incentive can be anything from a discount code, automatic entry into a big prize competition, gift card, or anything else.

 

Popular B2C Customer Review Sites

Below are 4 different types of customer review websites for consumer goods and experiences.

1. TripAdvisor

Everybody from your great-aunt to your first cousin has heard or used TripAdvisor, and for a good reason.

TripAdvisor is the biggest travel site in the world, with more than 225 million opinions, reviews, and photographs taken by travellers. According to TripAdvisor, the popularity ranking algorithm is based on three key components: quantity, quality, and recency of reviews.

2. Trustpilot

Trustpilot is the top-rated online review platform allowing customers to leave reviews about any company. Unlike other platforms, Trustpilot offers a paid version which lets you create customisable review invitations to send to customers. It’s estimated over 2.6 million reviews are shared on Trustpilot monthly. 

3. Which?

Which? is a consumer review organisation that tests out products and services, and then writes about them. Unlike other platforms, Which? writes the reviews themselves. The website has product reviews for everything and anything from hair dryers to dishwasher tables to fridge freezers.

4. Google My Business

Google My Business allows local businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search, Maps, Reviews, and Ratings.

 

Popular B2B Customer Review Sites

Below are 2 different types of customer review websites for business-to-business (B2B) markets.

1. Capterra

With more than 1,170,000 software reviews published on their site monthly, Capterra can help you find the best software for your business. It has a super easy internal search engine that lets users search for software based on industry, company, or software type.

2. Glassdoor

Glassdoor is an employee review site that helps potential employees and investors gain an understanding of what your business is really like to work for/with.

 

Summary

Many people are still hesitant around online reviews and the myth that you can’t control how people describe your company. However, you can exert some influence by actively monitoring reviews and responding respectfully as well as managing customer expectations in-store and online.

By encouraging positive conversations about your brand, you can quickly and cost-effectively improve your marketing efforts.

And in a world of mixed messages, multiple opinions, and an overwhelming amount of market research, online reviews are a great way to make your business stand out in an extremely competitive market.  

NICOLA MONGON is the MD of Spotlight Recruitment, the leading marketing recruitment agency in the UK since 2008. Read our 5* Google reviews from candidates and clients to find out more. If you would like to discuss recruitment, you can reach Spotlight on 020 3008 4254 or info@spotlightrecruitment.com.