Opinion

Do I Need Reviews on My eCommerce Website?

By 

Vjosana Gashi

 on 

January 24, 2018

In modern eCommerce, reviews will come whether you ask for them or not. Here's why you should love reviews, and how Taggstar applies positive review data to help you sell more.

Feedback. It’s got the power to make us both celebrate and wince. In modern eCommerce, you’re going to collect reviews whether you ask for them or not - so putting them to your advantage, to sell more product, is good idea.

At Taggstar, we aggregate positive review data within our social proof messages. If you look at a product page showing Taggstar, you’ll see a message along the lines of “45 people have rated this 4 stars.” These reviews provides immediate, transparent product information for the customer, based on the collective feedback of the crowd of shoppers who’ve bought the same product. It’s a powerful way to help browsers make their decision in the face of (probably) hundreds of other similar products online.

Here’s why review data should be a priority.

Consumers love reviews because they provide security. They’re the evidence that a shopper needs to understand whether the product or service they’re interested in is right. We’re increasingly time poor, and though websites continue to improve the customer experience, consumers prefer information that allows them to differentiate a certain branded bag, a dress or a steam iron from everything else on their long list. Reviews help them to do this quickly, cutting research time and valuable featuring third party opinions.

Social media and open consumer web forums make searching for product (and supplier) feedback easy, and Google has taken this a step further by routinely publishing business reviews in SERPs and Knowledge Panels. They’re arguably one of your most important pieces of product marketing because people trust them. Third party positive opinion is rated more highly than our own marketing, and, when the reviews are positive, they help to sell product better than any of our own website copy or smart imagery ever could.

Reviews also provide credibility and authenticity. Retailers that take an active part in the feedback process are seen to be honest and transparent brands that welcome 360-degree feedback alongside other forms of feedback like influencers and peer feedback. To a trained eye, a 5-star review placed by the retailer is fairly obviously to spot, and most consumers will weed these out. They’re not worth it in terms of the brand damage and loss of trust, so avoid the temptation.

Volume is also important. The more reviews the better. Consumers are unlikely to buy after reading a single review, they’ll read several and pay attention to the aggregated score across a number of reviews, meaning that you’ll want to build up a bank of advocates over time. A 4.6/5 score from 235 reviews over six months is much stronger than a 4.6/5 score from five reviews over two weeks. 2016 BrightLocal research showed that 36% of consumers need to read between 4-6 online reviews before they can trust a business, and 22% want to read at least 7-10.

It’s Not Just Sales

Good feedback helps sales and is also proven to reduce returns (something close to the heart of the fashion retailers that we work with). Reviews don’t have to be solely about quality. You can invite buyers to rate a product for fit e.g. “100% of people rated this 5 stars for fit true to size”, supporting prospective buyers who are wavering between a 10 and a 12.  

Good and bad feedback helps overall performance if we listen to it, and are prepared to accept the good with the bad reviews. Tackling the bad can turn around a poor customer service experience, whereas fighting the criticism is dangerous. Accept feedback, to the point of saying sorry if things are below the standards you set and use the feedback to make changes to a product, telling customers what you’ve done to show that you’ve listened.

For manufacturing companies with multiple releases each year, this is important operational feedback, to cascade throughout your business and maintain your edge.

What To Do With a Good Review?

According to Moz’s 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors survey, consumer reviews makeup 8.4 percent of the overall rank of a website’s search potential. Reviews increase web traffic activity, and that in turn affects product search rankings.

Reviews also lend themselves to simple visual representation via coloured star charts to attract consumer attention and encourage product consideration. Or your branding might lend itself to ranking products according to their review ratings.

Reviews in Social Proof

Taggstar works with eCommerce review providers to aggregate positive, summarised shopper review data in our social proof messages. Customers seeing these messages are statistically proven to convert more often than customers who don’t - to the tune of an average of 2.7%.

Interested in learning more? Talk to Taggstar to arrange your trial. We’re working with the largest international eCommerce brands like N Brown Group, Shop Direct, Argos, House of Fraser, Hotter, Missguided and more.

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