As an online retailer, product reviews are important to your sales. But you may not realize just how important they truly are. Here are some statistics:
- 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews
- 88% of online shoppers include reviews in their purchase decision
- 70% of customers consult reviews or ratings before making a final purchase
The importance of product reviews can be narrowed down to one word: trust. Before making a purchase, you trust that your experience will be good. While other factors including price, likability and quality play a part of your purchase decision, trust is still the most important.
This is true of shopping in brick and mortars, but is even more important when shopping online. Not being able to see an item in person really reshapes how we can engage with a product. And while trust can take time to build in person, building trust online is even more difficult. That’s why, according to a Salsify survey of online shoppers, the main reasons for trusting a brand online are previous experience with that company and good online reviews.
It’s useful to note that while good reviews are important, “negative reviews are essential to building consumer trust,” according to Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews. “We have found the majority of consumers seek out negative reviews confirming credibility, and determining that the things in the negative reviews seem relevant.” It’s unrealistic to get a positive, glowing recommendation for a product or service from every buyer. If all the reviews for a product online are terrific, consumers get wary.
How Product Reviews Drive Sales
A five-star review is an obvious win, but there are some unique ways that the content of reviews actually increases sales, including
- Better Product Descriptions – Sometimes we’re so close to our products and businesses that we have a hard time being objective. That’s especially true when we’re writing product descriptions. Consumer reviews are more likely to contain details that are important to buyers. In fact, a consumer may give crucial insight into a product that the sellers may never have thought of. This can help to further engage potential customers. Sellers can also incorporate wording or even quotes from reviews into product descriptions to make them viable to customers.
- User-Generated Content – It takes time and money to create images and video for your business. Allowing reviewers to include these in reviews helps buyers see the products in real life, and helps you get new content you can use in other ways.
- Improved SEO – Online product reviews can improve your search engine ranking in several ways. New reviews added to your product page keep your product page fresh with new content showing Google that it’s constantly being updated. As your page becomes more active with reviews, Google will start featuring more information in its listings such as star rating and number of reviews or the product price. In addtion, you’ll start ranking for long-tail keywords and review searches under your brand name such as [‘brand name’ review].
If you don’t include product reviews on your website, consider adding that functionality. Some e-commerce platforms have built-in product review options. Popular add-on apps for product reviews include Yotpo, Bazaarvoice, and PowerReviews.
For those of you already capturing reviews on your website, be on the lookout for our next post on ways to increase the number of reviews.