Guest blog: How to use customer reviews to improve your e-commerce strategy
Imagine yourself trying to speak up in an overcrowded and noisy room. You wouldn’t just want others to see your raised hands; you also want to be heard.
The same goes for your e-commerce customers. The online world is their ‘room’ where they can express their thoughts without gesturing to speak up. Yet, despite the plentiful vague remarks or one-word reviews out there, there’s still a lot of value left in the Voice of the Customer (VoC) to help your business succeed.
So, it’s imperative to focus on consumer feedback analysis and to display them on your product pages publicly. Whether you’re a brand, retailer, or even distributor, opting for better digital integrations, we’re sharing valuable tips on using customer reviews to improve your e-commerce strategy, even the negative ones.
Read on for more!
WHY use customer reviews to improve your e-commerce strategy?
Customer reviews influence sales. Therefore, it’s vital to incorporate them into e-commerce strategies. It’s also just as critical to understanding why VoC matters more than ever in the age of digital transformation. Here are some of the key reasons:
- Social Proofs Increase Brand Trust: e-commerce is untrustworthy of a marketplace as it is. Even if your brand already seems credible, 72% of customers still need to see some ratings or feedback on your website before taking action. Social proofs or customer testimonials reassure e-commerce shoppers before buying.
- Enhances SEO: When writing reviews, most customers use keywords like your product’s name or catchphrases. Then, more reviews mean more web content related to your business. Your benefit will be twofold: your brand awareness increases when people search online using keywords related to your store, and if you have positive reviews, they’ll likely see them. Plus, search engines promote ten times more traffic to e-commerce sites than social media.
- Higher CTRs, More Sales: Displaying your customer reviews can increase click-through rates (CTRs), influencing your e-commerce sales. Also, what drives those conversions is the type of reviews you show (more on that later).
HOW to use customer reviews to improve your e-commerce Strategy?
Find below several modern best practices for using customer reviews to improve your e-Commerce strategy. Plus, specific and practical tips:
Visual Customer Testimonial is Queen for Social Media
Since word-of-mouth has migrated online (eWOM), popular social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, have risen, and all are more or less visual-oriented platforms.
So, depending on which channel works the best for your webshop, consider creating eye-catching graphics designed around your positive customer reviews. Turn them into short and memorable quotes or testimonials. Beforehand, ensure permission from the customer of the quote before posting, thanking them in the post, and encouraging post discussions after.
Tip: Sharing customer testimonials is best when done regularly (e.g., biweekly) as it leads to about 62% more in sales.
Video Customer Testimonial is King Everywhere
Not only do customers actively seek out testimonials before buying, but they also enjoy them in videos. Video converts better than any other format; 90% of customers have claimed seeing an animation or a live video demonstration of how to use a product is helpful for their decision-making.
So, whenever possible for your design team, raise the volume of the voice of your customers with video testimonials. Most importantly, keep the most engaging ones on your landing pages.
Tip: Regarding the websites of ‘expensive’ products, consider displaying a mix of visual and video testimonials beside them to emphasize how the product’s value exceeds its premium price tag.
Email Marketing is Immortal
Although not nearly as popular as social media, emails are still among the top promotional channels for B2C and B2B brands.
Moreover, considering the 70% online cart abandonment rate, email testimonials can be highly effective during the post-purchase stage. It can convince shoppers even more, to return to ‘checkout’.
If they’ve purchased, follow-up emails are still just as effective but for collecting feedback. When emailing to gather user reviews, ensure an accessible direct submission link.
Regarding the content of your email campaign, consider sharing full customer stories and case studies. Video testimonials also work or incorporating multiple short yet ‘catchy’ user quotes to grab the readers’ attention even more, especially in long emails.
Tip: Use more written customer reviews rather than the star ratings, as 73% of users value text-based feedback more. And never forget to personalize those emails!
Figure 1. How often do customer reviews factor into your buying decisions?
The Negatives Have Never Felt So Good
Many e-commerce shoppers grow skeptical of a rating if there are no bad comments. Also, it makes sense for customers to spend more time on a business site when dealing with a complaint than those with positive experiences. Thus, negative reviews can have a reverse (positive) effect on the brand.
Some research shows negative feedback can increase purchase likelihood and sales by making customers simply more aware of your brand.9 So, consider displaying a mix of positive and negative reviews on your product page. For instance, showcase at least five reviews for a product and ensure most, if not all, reviews can be verified (vs. anonymous).
For a single product, the reviews for it should overall contain 4.2 to 4.5-star ratings, making it more likely for shoppers to buy the item. Ultimately, it all boils down to how your business handles customer issues. No reply to negative reviews will most likely put your brand at risk.
Tip: Try responding to about 30% of those bad comments. Generally, reply as quickly as possible or within seven business days since over half of the customers expect this now!
5-Star Solutions: Wonderflow and ChannelEngine
Nowadays, many online companies experience the problem with time and costs when analyzing the millions of consumer reviews. Wonderflow is the world’s first AI-based text analysis tool to solve this, including supporting numerous e-commerce use cases.
Our simple text analysis tool helps customer-centric brands extract relevance and value from their customer reviews. Unifying feedback data into one easy-to-use dashboard, you will pinpoint the exact issues on the reason(s) for some products underperforming and some being successful. Thus, truly listening in on the Voice of the Customer (VoC).
Additionally, brands, retailers, and distributors will benefit by complementing our tool with ChannelEngine, another powerful e-commerce solution. The full integration software connects all your store’s product data, stock level, plus more with major marketplaces. That way, ChannelEngine accelerates your webshop’s local and international growth.