I love customer reviews. They’re a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I have spent hours in the past just trawling through customer reviews. Amazon has some fantastic joke ones, especially on products that are either so niche that us normal users will never buy them, or they’re just crazy expensive. The creativity of people amazes me and once I start reading them I can’t stop.
When I’m shopping for an item, just like most people my first look is at what people are saying about the item and the shop I’m buying from.I do tend to prefer succinct reviews that tell me all I need to know in a short space of time.My most recent purchase online was a coffee machine. I, like most people, spent some time searching for the cheapest place to buy them. There were several places where I was able to save significant amounts on the overall price, but a lot of these sites didn’t have any customer reviews. To me that was a sales killer. I didn’t know whether I could trust the site, so I ended up paying more than I possibly would have had to.
Overall I don’t only read one review either, I go through at least 10 before I make my decision. I could be seen as very cautious, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that like to read through them before parting with my money.
The power of customer reviews
This shows just how important customer reviews are. I was willing to spend more money at the place that had a few reviews. It shows that we should try and encourage our customers to leave us reviews on our sites. It’s also very useful for you to have the reviews on external sites such like Trustpilot and Review Centre.
Many people today also go to social media to see what they can find about your business. They will look at what people have been saying about you on Twitter, or they will have a look at the most recent activities on your Facebook/Google+ or any other social media page to see how satisfied your customers are.
If you’re investing in AdWords for example, you can have external reviews be displayed underneath your advertisement, which, right from the get go, lets potential customers know that they’ll be able to trust you, even before they’ve been on your website. A very neat feature.
The Stats don’t lie
A recent study conducted by searchengineland determined that 9 out of 10 customers will read the customer reviews before considering making a purchase. This is true of shops that are online, but it also applies to brick and mortar businesses.
A massive 47% percent of Britons have written a review of a product online, which shows the importance of reviews to those people already, as they’re willing to share their experiences. As a shop owner it’s great to have those sort of customers that are so willing to share their positive experiences that they’ve had with your company.
An online customer review is seen as significant as a personal recommendation from a friend. We tend to trust what certain people say about an establishment, as long as those people are in the majority.
The reviews are also a great way of getting new content onto your pages, which will be great for your SEO as all content will, by default, be relevant to your page as it directly relates to that.
I’m sold, what’s next?
Make sure you activate your Customer Reviews feature in your ekmPowershop so that you too can benefit from the power of customer reviews. You’re able to control exactly what reviews you want to have showing on your site, so that you don’t get spoof reviews or people writing random texts onto your product pages.
Author: Sönke Dökel is an Online Marketing Expert at ekmPowershop.com, the UK’s leading hosted eCommerce website solution.