6 Recommendations to Online Businesses Regarding Reviews
I recently wrote a detailed blog post for Shopper Approved from an everyday consumer's perspective about what people like about online product reviews and how they have become a vital part of the buying journey.
You can read that full buyer's journey article here. But the bottom line: almost 90% of online shoppers like me use and trust online reviews to learn about businesses and then decide what products to buy. And there are very specific things that we look for in the reviews that catch our eye and which we find helpful.
So, in order to help online businesses make the most of the reviews they have and connect with future customers, here are the top six recommendations for shopping websites regarding seller and product reviews.
These are based on my discussions with fellow online shoppers as well as proven data I found while researching my original article.
Six Recommendations to Online Businesses Regarding Reviews
- Pay Attention. I think one of the best things a business can do is pay more attention to the role of product reviews in securing more sales.
- Display Reviews at Every Stage. People come across new product information through research, social media, and by casual browsing. I would recommend displaying reviews at every stage of the buying journey, and across as many channels as possible.
Glimpsing some stellar reviews is a great way to capture my interest and have me looking deeper into the product.
- Post Positives and Negatives. Many businesses may be tempted to only post positive reviews, but I think showing all of them, positive and negative, gives a more accurate viewpoint and inspires trust.
I like to see when a business reaches out to a reviewer who had a poor experience to make it right. This tells me that the company is invested in customer satisfaction.
- Highlight Average Ratings. I always prefer products that have a high volume of reviews, but typically gravitate to those with a high rating average so I know the majority of customers had a positive experience.
25 reviews is the minimum I like to see to feel comfortable with making a purchase. For big-ticket items (like a new laptop) that come with a significant financial investment, I prefer to see 100 or more reviews.In general, I won’t buy a product that has lower than a 4.0 star rating. My confidence in the product increases with a rating of 4.5. However, I tend to distrust anything that has a 5.0 average rating. It’s unlikely that every customer had a positive experience.
A perfect rating makes me wonder if there are fake reviews skewing the results.
- Feature Expert Reviews. It’s also great to see a few reviews written by experts to lend credibility and authority to the company’s product claims. More technical or advanced products generally need some expertise and detail in the reviews to be effective at swaying my opinion.
I particularly appreciate the information gleaned from expert reviews when I am contemplating an expensive purchase. I want to know that I’m investing my money wisely.
- Focus on Products That Matter. Whenever I am contemplating a purchase of $100 or more, I pay greater attention to product reviews. For me, that interest in reviews increases even more for anything priced over $500.
For these price points, I’m willing to spend time reading through a large number of reviews to get a good sense of the product. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on something unless I’m reasonably sure that the product will meet my needs and expectations.
The product categories that I feel require more reviews to inspire buyer confidence are typically those that are complex, unfamiliar to me, or on the pricier side.
For example, when I am researching new electronics or software, I take my time and read product reviews thoroughly. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, is the price. I want to feel that I’m spending my money wisely. Second, I have very specific requirements for these types of products. With electronics, I need to know about the features, specifications, battery life, and storage. Software purchases require research and social proof regarding customization, integrations, and ease of use.
Reviews are a great place to find examples of how the product functions in real life. A lack of reviews for these kinds of products can be a deal-breaker for me.
Purchases for materials and supplies needed for new hobbies are another category where I do some extra reading of reviews. When I’m pursuing a brand new interest, I want to learn about tips, tricks, and insights others have had before deciding if the activity is something worthy of my time and resources.
If you want help implementing these tips and making the most of your reviews, you may want to look into a ratings and review software service. There are many different options, among which is Shopper Approved.
How Shopper Approved Can Help Your Business Collect and Leverage Product Reviews
Shopper Approved has a full suite of traffic and conversion tools to help ecommerce websites get noticed, build trust and credibility, gain customers, and most importantly, increase sales.
Our Product Review tool is at the heart of this process. It was built to make asking for, collecting, displaying, and syndicating product reviews easy, giving online businesses a powerful way to leverage customer enthusiasm and reviews to grow their business.
Adding other components of the Traffic & Conversion Suite to your ecommerce strategy can create an exponential positive effect on your business. Learn about some of these other tools here:
Seller Ratings | Video Reviews