In 2014, BrightLocal published a survey on the power of customer reviews. 88% of respondents said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In other words, nearly nine in 10 customers are just as willing to buy a product based on the praise of a stranger as they are to buy a product at the recommendation of a friend.
Consumer trust is at a low point. In the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer, 16 of the 27 countries that the survey tracked recorded customer trust levels of under 50%. For Edelman, countries with trust levels of 50% or under fall into the unacceptable or “distruster” range.
The numbers from the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer survey could spell doom and gloom for brands everywhere. How can businesses market to their customers if customers don’t trust them?
How Customer Reviews Can Save Your Brand from Customer Distrust
Implementing customer reviews is one of the easiest and most effective strategies that online e-commerce brands can use to combat customer distrust. When you give your customers a platform through which they can share their opinions on your products right there on your website, you harness the power of BrightLocal’s findings.
88% of customers are just as willing to buy products because of online recommendations as they are to listen to recommendations from friends or family. By having a positive customer review on one of your product pages, you are giving many of your customers the equivalent of a product endorsement from their close friends. This strategy can be hugely beneficial for encouraging sales and boosting revenues—especially in an age in which so many customers are inherently distrustful of brands.
Why Video Reviews Are the Best Kind of Customer Review
Video reviews are the optimal way to build customer trust in this day and age, particularly for e-commerce brands. Video reviews provide all of the key advantages of standard text-based customer reviews. They show that your brand is willing to give customers a platform through which to share their opinions, they put customer testimonials right on your product pages, and they supplement product descriptions to give shoppers all of the information they need to understand and purchase a product.
There are a few drawbacks to text reviews that video reviews help to solve or circumnavigate. Here are the key benefits you get from video reviews that written customer reviews don’t offer.
They are easier to trust
Distrust of brands among modern customers has reached such a point that many shoppers don’t trust online reviews anymore. With text, anyone could be behind the words. There’s a chance that the person extolling the virtues of a product on a brand’s website is a genuine customer, but there is also a chance that the brand created the review. The spread of fake and paid reviews on sites like Amazon and Yelp has only made matters worse in this department. Video reviews are easier for customers to trust because viewers can actually see and hear the reviewer in addition to engaging with their words. Video is naturally a more personal medium than writing, so users feel more inclined to trust it. Video reviews are also much harder for brands to fake than written reviews, making them more trustworthy.
They encourage an emotional connection
Video is inherently a more personal medium than text: being able to see a person’s facial expressions, watch their body language, and hear the tone of their voice make video reviews feel like a window into someone’s day-to-day life. The personal nature of these videos encourages users to forge an emotional connection with the reviewer. They see someone who reminds them of themselves and therefore they feel inclined to trust that person. The trust created by that emotional connection ends up linked to your brand and your products.
They are engaging
Modern attention spans have dwindled, as has people’s willingness to read. There is a reason that sites like Buzzfeed have done so well with list-based articles that are made up largely of pictures. Many internet users just aren’t interested in reading large blocks of text—not because they are lazy, but because they don’t engage with it on any level. Videos encourage more engagement. It is easier for most customers to watch a two-minute video than absorb a three-paragraph product review. There’s a facet of accessibility to that play button that isn’t there with a lengthier review. As such, customers who would not have read or engaged with a written customer review are willing to watch a video review through to the end and use it to inform purchasing decisions.
At Criteek, we can help you to implement video reviews throughout your e-commerce website, you can learn more here.