Product reviews have become ubiquitous in the consumer purchase process. In fact, we found that more than 86 percent of consumers see reviews as an essential resource when making purchase decisions.
And while many retailers do recognize the power of ratings and reviews to drive traffic and sales, there’s still room to improve on their reviews strategy. Here’s a look at four of the most common mistakes we see related to reviews.
1.) Not Asking for Reviews: It may seem obvious, but you can’t assume that customers will automatically return to your site to share their feedback. You have to ask for it and the best time to do so is shortly after a customer makes a purchase.
More than 85 percent of our customer’s reviews come from a post-transaction email. Even the most loyal customers don’t always opt for writing a review, so reminding them just in case isn’t a bad habit to get into.
2.) Forgetting the Big Data Aspect of Reviews: Reviews are a goldmine of valuable consumer insight that you can use to improve your products and the overall shopping experience. Netflix is a familiar example. Every time a user reviews a TV show, game or movie, Netflix uses that information to make smarter recommendations. Personalization tactics like those used by Netflix also shows interest in the customer, which can go a lot further than you’d think.
Customer reviews give retailers and brands insight into both the positive and negative aspects of products. Was that blender you ordered exactly what you expected or was there some disconnect between what you saw online and what arrived at your door? Were the cushions on your sofa comfortable and durable? Our customers use reviews not just in the obvious way of driving traffic and sales, but to improve their products and merchandise mix. You can, too!
3.) Filtering or Deleting Negative Reviews: While receiving a negative review can be upsetting, deleting or hiding negative reviews will damage your brand and credibility. Consumers are smart enough to know that products can’t be all things to all people, and a mix of positive and negative reviews shows that you understand each customer has different tastes and needs.
The occasional negative review will not sabotage your brand and sales, but instead shows that you aren’t afraid of negative feedback. Consumers are smart enough to know every product isn’t a fit for every person or situation. Negative reviews actually help users identify whether a product is a fit for them, while simultaneously adding authenticity to your brand.
4.) Burying Reviews: We found that, 95 percent of shoppers consult reviews before making a purchase decision. Make customer reviews easily accessible across all channels, including your website, mobile site and third-party review sites.
Whether purchasing in-store or online, consumers rely on product reviews and recommendations to make buying decisions. Retailers and brands that embrace positive and negative reviews by making it simple for customers to share and view feedback will improve online engagement and drive sales.