Consumers are savvier than ever before. Purchasing decisions are carefully deliberated and based on the best available information available.
And in many cases, this role is played by product reviews.
Below we outline how you can make reviews do the selling for your business.
Why Reviews Matter
Reviews are important because they provide consumers with additional, independent information that isn’t found in product descriptions.
This content is highly trusted by consumers. After word of mouth, customer reviews are the most influential driver of shopping habits. One study found that up to 88% of customers consulted customer reviews before making a purchase.
Reviews also assist your conversion rates of turning leads into customers. This is demonstrated by the fact that customers who interact with reviews are 105% more likely to purchase and will spend 11% more than those who don’t.
This means that businesses that encourage feedback are generating significantly more revenue than those that don’t. A large part of this comes down to consumer trust. If your business has numerous reviews, it is seen to be transparent, legitimate and caring about their customer relationships.
Further, customer reviews can bolster your SEO value.
Putting Customer Reviews into Practice
We now know the importance of reviews, so it’s time to put them into practice.
Ensure you’ve got the capacity to collect reviews. There are some software packages available that can help with this, but all you need is a simple form. Include a field for the response, the customer’s first name, initial or username and their rating.
It’s also good to give customers the option of uploading a picture or video to their review. You may need to upgrade your software to enable media, but it’s a good idea because it allows customers to interact more freely, which gives the reviews credibility. These, of course, will need to be moderated.
The best way to collect reviews is by following up with customers after purchase. Send them an email asking for their honest feedback or set a reminder next time they visit your webpage. You can also encourage a higher uptake by offering discounts and other incentives in exchange for their time.
How you manage your reviews will impact how legitimate your business looks.
Engage with all reviews with a human profile and seek to resolve issues calmly and in the tone of voice of your brand.
And bad reviews don’t necessarily turn people away. Because consumers look for details that relate specifically relate to their situation, it’s likely that some negative reviews will be disregarded as user error or problems which won’t affect them.
Who Influences Us
Marketers are trying to capitalise on the power of word of mouth and customer reviews by adding an extra ingredient - celebrity.
Influencer marketing is the use of celebrities to endorse products, particularly on social media by leveraging their credibility as personalities and trendsetters in their industries.
The price of each post often comes down to reach. Singer Selena Gomez has 90 million Instagram followers, and as a result she can demand $500,000 per post.
It’s often a highly effective strategy for businesses because influencers are seen as 13% more credible and 12% more knowledgeable than the average person on social media.
Further, not all influencers are celebrities. There is an emerging trend towards micro-influencers, which are usually people who have become thought-leaders in their field and are better known for their knowledge rather than their public profile.
And because it’s been shown that 82% of consumers are highly likely to follow a product recommendation from a micro-influencer, partnering with one of them might be a cheaper alternative.
It is important to note, however, that there is increasing pressure on influencers to specify when they are promoting a sponsored product.
Reviews help convince consumers to buy. Build a healthy collection of positive reviews and your business will be well on its way to increased revenue.