Consumer product reviews have evolved far greater than just a simple star based ranking system. As online commerce skyrockets, the ability to touch and “test” products disappear. But, consumers are savvy. Even with the advancements of technology, consumers want to be able to evaluate products before purchasing. Approximately, 40% of customers report that they read online reviews before purchasing the product.
International peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Economics and Business, conducted research into the relationship that product reviews play in influencing purchases. The result was that 85.57% of participants cited looking at reviews prior to making an online purchase. Of those participants, 83.65% compared both positive and negative reviews. Customers first look at product ratings (stars ranked 1-5), and often ignored those products with one star. Once a customer clicks on a product, customers will compare reviews to one another. Feedback from other buyers is also important. In fact, 75% of those surveyed stated that reviews, not just ratings, were “important” or “very important.”
As review media can directly impact your company’s ability to move the needle in online commerce, it’s critical that you define your current and evolving strategy to create and curate user generated product reviews.
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[CASE STUDY] Attracting a customer online is requiring many different digital channels. But, once you have the audience what are you doing to keep them on your website?
Activate Your Customers Directly On The Product Pages Of Your Website
Consumers, both new and existing, will always want to see as much data about your new product as possible before buying online. Currently, most companies don’t view their website’s shopping experience from the view of the consumer. Consumers have to scour the Internet, multiple websites and YouTube for real product reviews. With every click away from your website you risk losing that potential sale. Showcase your honest, real reviews right from the product page. The relevance of these truthful reviews, strategically positioned, will drive sales.
Plant The User Generated Review Media Seed With Your Customers At The Point Of Checkout Thank You Page
Your CMO will want to activate your eco-system immediately on the Checkout Confirmed Thank You Page. When consumers complete their purchase they are very excited about your product. This is the exact moment you can plant the initial seed to activate new customer product reviews by inviting customers to create their own reviews.
Leverage Existing Video Blogging Influencers
Video blogging has been revitalized as the ease of creating videos has become much easier. It’s time to take advantage of this platform. Text reviews have been filled with fraudulent claims. In fact, some retailers have been penalized and banned from ecommerce giant Amazon. Video reviews have replaced standard text reviews with the ability to see a real person actually handling the product.
Leverage Your Existing Reviews As Social Proof On Social Networks
This may seem logical, but it’s a step that is often overlooked, especially for unknown brands. Why? Reviews provide “social proof”, a requirement to build trust and loyalty, two key elements in the conversion rate process. Social Media Link analyzed 24,000 active social media users about posting reviews. 71% posted to share a bad experience – 93% wrote to relay a good experience. Those figures should provide a clear incentive to make sure you are delivering a high quality product as well as excellent customer service. Here’s some other survey findings: Facebook is the most trusted platform for review sharing. This is followed by Pinterest. 77% of people view less than ten reviews to make their decision about a product purchase. Twenty percent only need to view one review from a close family member or friend.
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Keep the relationship going with your reviewers. Product reviews take time, so you really have to make an effort to reach out and ask your customers for their opinion. You can easily do this by email. Construct a short piece asking them if they liked the product and provide them with a link to the review page. Make it quick and easy. A second benefit of sending an email is to provide an avenue to correct a bad situation. This act of goodwill could really change their opinion.
Utilize emails to their greatest degree. Remember to include email followups for product review and include a link to your product review page. Get customer email addresses at the point of purchase, regardless of if you sell online or in a brick and mortar store. Regarding the latter, consider giving your customers a small gift for leaving their email addresses.
In summary, video reviews have become the single most critical in establishing trust with potential customers. People can relate (and believe) a real person versus a written text. E-commerce businesses, in particular, should make an effort to understand the importance of product reviews and tweak their businesses accordingly.
From The Desk Of Denise O’Connor
Director of Business Development of Criteek
153 W 27th Street | NY NY 10001