Why Authentic Product Reviews are Essential for Online Stores

Eradium product reviews feature

Why Authentic Product Reviews are Essential for Online Stores

You are shopping for a product, and you have found two similar items: one has many positive reviews, and the other has few or no product reviews at all.

Which one would you buy?

I would personally buy the one with the more positive reviews. It especially helpful when people who write a review also describe their experience with the product. A product review that reflects the actual product experience helps you to imagine how you would use the product in your life.
One of my favorite examples is Wayfair online marketplace reviews. I particularly like reviews which include a picture of the products in real customers houses. It is especially important for items that are hard to return like furniture.

Positive reviews have become one of the crucial factors influencing consumer’s decision to buy one product vs. another. As consumers, we also need to help the trend of reviewing products so that others can learn from our experiences.

Why are product reviews necessary for consumers?

When a customer is still in consideration phase the product with reviews has more chances to get purchased.
If customers have chosen the product already, then reviews allow them to learn more about the product from other people who already purchased the item. Reviews are particularly valuable for online shopping as people can not see or touch the physical product.

Why are product reviews important for brands?

Reviews help reduce returns as people can get a better feel for the product before actually purchasing it.
Brands can receive direct feedback from actual users and make improvements to the product or website to increase customer satisfaction in the future.

Below are some actual data that show how much influence, even the number of stars makes on the purchase decision of shoppers.

  • Reviews are critical to purchase decisions: 88% of customers put as much weight on online reviews as they would on personal recommendations (1).
  • Very few people write reviews. It’s about 1.5 percent, or 15 people out of 1,000,” (2).
  • The number of sales is increasing with the average star rating. See the chart below (3).
average star-rating number-of-sales graph

How to manage online product reviews

The more detailed the review the better the impact will be on your potential buyers. If you look at the 2 examples below the review with actual product pictures will definitely have more influence on the decision-making process than just a simple review.

A good example of the product reviews

Wayfair-product-review

A typical review

jeans-review

Why reviews must be authentic

It might be tempting to hire a company that promises to create many reviews in a short period. You should never make the mistake of getting fake reviews. Once you get caught, you will never be able to be seen as a serious business, and that could even be the end of your brand. Instead, invest that money into a proper review program. Most email providers such as MailChimp over post-purchase email reminders which you can use for reviews. You can control the timing, the messaging and the incentive. For example, You can only offer incentive after two previous attempts to gather review or not at all.

How to deal with false negative reviews

Never ignore a negative review. Try and get as much information as possible out of the person who provided the negative review to see if it is a legitimate claim.
If it is a review from an actual customer, try to provide resolution to the problem been raised.  In extreme cases of false negative reviews, you might have to seek legal action if the review is not from a real customer and has done severe damage to your business.

Six tips to encourage more reviews on your eCommerce website

  1.  Encourage users to provide reviews after purchase with email reminders program. Do not give rewards right away for positive reviews.
  2. Do not ignore negative reviews always reply and try and resolve the issue.
  3. Make sure reviews are visible at the top of the page and on product search page, along with the product.
  4. Encourage people to include pictures with their review by providing clear instructions.
  5. Make reviews optimal both on the desktop and mobile screens. Make it easy to read and create product reviews on mobile screens.
  6. If it is possible, provide an option for reviewers to tell their demographic information so that the shopper can identify with that person.

References

  1. 3 Important Statistics That Show How Reviews Influence Consumers, https://dixa.com/blog/3-important-statistics-that-show-how-reviews-influence-consumers/
  2. Eric T. Anderson and Duncan I. Simester, Reviews Without a Purchase: Low Ratings, Loyal Customers, and Deception, http://web.mit.edu/simester/Public/Papers/Deceptive_Reviews.pdf
  3. The Value of Star Ratings for Businesses and Brands, https://www.reviewpush.com/blog/the-value-of-star-ratings-for-businesses-and-brands/
Anna Battrick
anna@eradium.com

Anna Battrick is Eradium’s Director of Ecommerce Services, has an extensive background in retail marketing and project management. With over 10 years of managing complex projects from inception to completion while always maintaining “it can be done” spirit. The world of retail is not only a professional interest but also a personal hobby which lets Anna see the other side of retail, from a shopper perspective. This helps create engaging marketing programs that speak personally to the shoppers interests and engage them in a conversation.