In the digital era of today customer reviews’ impact on brand image and reputation cannot be underestimated. Social proof is one of the crucial factors leading to higher sales, and trustworthy customer testimonials allow leveraging this technique to an online merchant’s benefit.
With the majority of purchases initiating online today, product reviews and ratings have become a starting point for customers’ decision-making. There’s literally no product that shoppers decide to buy without consulting a friend or a family member or just googling it. Just a quick example. Imagine you need to buy a hair dryer. We bet you don’t want to waste your time wandering around a local consumer electronics store trying to find the right one. Instead, you’ll most probably sit down on your cozy sofa, take your laptop and start searching for the hair dryer online, browsing through multiple webstores, available offers and, of course, ratings and reviews.
It’s obvious – customer reviews add credibility to a product, since buyers tend to trust each other more than to the claims made by a company itself. The latest studies have shown that 97% of customers read online reviews for local businesses, with 85% of all buyers trusting online reviews just as personal recommendations. What’s more exciting, for 73% customers positive reviews are the main reason to trust a brand. Thus, it gets pretty clear that customer reviews have the power to shape the perception of a brand. And that is the reason why they should be viewed as an integral part of a successful online marketing strategy.
What Customer Reviews & Ratings Bring
A powerful and influential reputation-building tool, Magento reviews and ratings extension (in case positive, of course) provide the greatest value to any ecommerce company. Amongst a plethora of benefits they bring, the most important ones include the following:
- Increase traffic and generate leads. Customer reviews affect greatly search engine rankings. A review about a particular product placed by a customer on your website automatically increases the amount of unique content related to that product. That means more product relevance and, consequently, higher page ranking positions. In turn, it all drives more traffic and so prospects to your online store.
- Drive conversion rates. As already mentioned, product reviews are one of the key factors of customer’s purchase decision-making. A couple of positive reviews on a product’s landing page significantly improve the likelihood that a viewer will convert into an actual buyer.
- Uncover areas for improvement. Monitoring customer reviews is a way of social listening, since they are an invaluable source of insight and inspiration for companies. By getting to know what customers really think about a product, brands can see the full picture of how it is used, what are its pros and cons and what can be done to make it even better.
Customer Voice to Market Your Brand
So how to make customer reviews work for a company’s marketing strategy? How ecommerce businesses can turn buyers into brand ambassadors? Here are some useful tips you can arm yourself with:
1. Encourage customers to leave a review
The majority of customers are more likely to complete a purchase and leave without writing a review, since it takes additional time, requires attention, and so on. That is why you have nothing left to do, but to stimulate them. Magento 2 Products Reviews Reminder, for instance, allows sending kind email reminders to the customers asking them to review the products they’ve bought. You can also incentive them with simple rewards like small discounts or free extra services (say, gift wrapping, monogramming or just free delivery). It all will help encourage buyers to write a couple of nice words about your product.
2. Simplify the process
A sequence from the point above, the easy process of writing reviews on your website increases your chances of actually getting them. Hardly anyone would want to head over to another website, sign up and fill in a multi-step review form to express their thoughts on a product. Customers shouldn’t feel frustrated or burdened when leaving their feedback. Add the review form on your website and make it simple and short, so that buyers could leave their testimonials with minimum efforts.
3. Stay away from fake reviews
Because of reviews’ high marketing effectiveness, it can be quite enticing to add some written by your own here or there. But the only thing such an approach will lead to is your destroyed reputation. Honesty and decency come first! Focus on maintaining the quality of your products and customer service, as well as customer encouragement techniques rather than populating fictional reviews. This way it won’t take long for your loyal customers to praise your brand online.
4. Share, share, share
Having positive feedback from your customers is vital, but what’s even more important is to let as many potential buyers to know about that as possible. Of course, on the internet the information is spread instantly. Nevertheless, taking matters into your hands will ensure that the reviews work for your benefit. Obviously, you should highlight customers’ testimonials on your products’ pages. It can be quotes, extracts or even video-shortcuts. Apart from that, make use of social networks. Create a special content category, tag it (for instance, #customervoice) and post positive reviews from time to time. Featuring what customers say in your email newsletters is another great way to share feedback and engage prospects.
5. Respond quickly
Customers should know and feel that you care. So, engaging with them by responding timely to the reviews received should be your priority. Monitor social networks, third-party review platforms, and other sources your audience uses and make a response. A simple ‘Thank you for your words’ or ‘We are so happy you liked our product’ will show your appreciation. And, of course, managing negative reviews is another important aspect here. Publicly ask your buyers to contact you directly in case something went wrong and they’re not satisfied with the purchase or service. That will prove your readiness to help resolve any possible customer issue, setting you well apart from your competitors and enhancing customers’ trust.
With the importance online reviews have for your SEO, it all is not only about your positions and rankings. Customer feedback is one of the major factors shaping a retailer’s reputation. By incorporating customer reviews into your marketing strategy, you get an opportunity to establish close and trustworthy relationships with your audience, enhancing your brand reputation and customer loyalty.
If you want to learn more on how to get more reviews in Magento and take the most value out of them, please, contact professional Magento development company Aitoc.