— January 19, 2018
For small business owners, continuously growing your online presence is everything, especially if you have an e-commerce site. After all, how can your potential customers find you if your business doesn’t come up in their searches?
Unfortunately, the battle to better market your product isn’t over after you’ve got the site up and running, and even then, there are still a number of things you have to take care of. One major contributor to boosting your sales, however, is customer reviews.
Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur trying to grow your online community, or the CEO of a seasoned tech company with dozens of software services, including customer reviews on your site is an essential part of e-commerce.
Here are three reasons publicizing customer reviews are a must-have on your site.
3 Reasons For Including Customer Reviews in Your Site
1. Customer reviews encourage sales through unbiased testimonies
Unsurprisingly, data shows that customers tend to trust other customers more than they would initially trust the company.
A whopping 70% of consumers consult reviews or ratings before purchasing, and as many as 85% of consumers trust product reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Testimonies from relatable consumers provide reliable insight into the product in a way the business is simply not able to. Reviews from other customers are viewed as more valuable to the fellow consumer than marketing efforts from the company.
2. Reviews build credibility and increase repeat customers
Small business owners know the importance of customer loyalty and how difficult it can be to establish that initial relationship.
You should know, then, that positive reviews make majority of customers trust a local business more. Having established that credibility with the customer and after making that initial purchase, the customer is more likely to visit your site again.
According to some studies, repeat customers also have a higher conversion rate and spend more on average compared to new online shoppers.
Including product reviews in your site not only bring credibility to your business among new customers, but they also lead the way for repeat customers who have proven to spend more than new shoppers.
3. Customer reviews boost your SEO
Making it easy for consumers to find you online is not as simple as some may think. However, ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs) allow small business owners to better market their site while competing with larger companies.
Boosting your search engine optimization, therefore, is a must. It requires regular fresh and unique content that goes beyond standard manufacturer descriptions. User-generated posts like customer reviews have the ability to provide this regular fresh, unique content which increase the chance of ranking highly in the SERPs.
How to Handle Negative Customer Reviews
When you open your e-commerce site to accept customer reviews, however, you will have to accept BOTH positive and negative reviews. This is a major fear that business owners have: the possibility of bad reviews.
It’s true that negative reviews have a huge impact on customers; most people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
Bad reviews come with the territory of e-commerce, and it doesn’t equate to running a bad business. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to do anything.
You can take action when negative reviews are posted to your site. Here are a few suggestions on how to stay on top of poor reviews.
1. Reach out to the customer
It’s important to reach out to dissatisfied customers as soon as possible. Promptly responding to a negative review allows you as the business owner to attempt to restore the relationship.
Reaching out to the dissatisfied customer allows you to understand what went wrong, and offer them a possible solution so that you can open back up the possibility of continued business with them.
Additionally, promptly responding to a negative customer review is also publicly showing other customers you value their feedback and are working on a solution.
It is recommended you directly respond to the negative review on your public review platform so that other customers have a chance to see how you handle these situations, and reinsert the customer loyalty that might be compromised.
2. Send a thoughtful response to your customer
It’s important you are thoughtful of the exact messaging you send your dissatisfied customer when crafting a response. Stay true to your branding style, but make sure you come off as a person invested in their trouble, not a corporation trying to put a band-aid over the incident.
Your customers will appreciate the efforts you make to get down to their level and view the experience as they did. Avoid sounding disinterested, disconnected, and defensive at all costs.
3. Follow up with the customer later on
Lastly, follow up with the customer on their experience to drive home the point that your company is genuinely interested in their business.
There may not be a simple resolution to the customer’s complaint, but it’s still important to make efforts toward at not leaving them with a bad taste in their mouth when it comes to your company.
This might not always end in their continued business, but it makes strides toward containing their poor experience rather than allowing it to spread throughout the community. As you know, reputation is key for small businesses, and keeping poor experiences contained is important to maintaining a good standing.
How To Start Featuring Customer Reviews in Your Website
Now you know why customer reviews are important — they can help your business thrive by using unbiased reviews to drive sales, help build trust and encourage repeat customers, and boost your SEO efforts.
The obvious follow-up question remains: how do you start putting customer reviews on your site?
The simplest first step in publishing customer reviews on your site is to integrate a reviews plugin on your e-commerce site. We recommend giving POWr Reviews a try.
Not only is it easy-to-use for non-technical business owners, you’ll also be able to seamlessly display and creatively control customer content appearing directly on your site.
Making this process as simple as possible will encourage the user to leave a review compared to something complicated and overly complex.
Next, follow up each purchase with a post-purchase automated email. On average, digital receipts sent through emails are opened 70.9% of the time, while marketing emails are only opened 17.9% of the time, according to TheGood.com. You can include promotions and discounts in this order confirmation email to highlight special sales and encourage users to return to your site.
Finally, don’t overlook the power of simply asking your customers for a review. Your customers understand that building your empire is a process, and taking a few minutes to leave a review is tremendously helpful. Lean on your customer, they may be more receptive than you can imagine!