You might be wondering if you should set up your store to allow reviews and ratings. Reviews can be a huge factor in purchase decisions and provides the store with free word-of-mouth advertising. Not only are happy buyers likely to leave a review on your own site, they’ll often also leave a review of your product on other consumer sites. This can lead to higher search rankings, as the reviews link back to your storefront and it also gives you free exposure on the web.
Customers are more apt to buy a product after reading good reviews that real people who’ve left use it. The last time you bought a product you’ve never used before, didn’t you do some research on the web to see what people said about it?
Let’s look at some stats dealing with stores who use product reviews:
- 77% of online shoppers use reviews and ratings when deciding what to buy. – JupiterResearch
- 59% of users believe that real consumer reviews are more valuable than expert reviews. -BizRate
- 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if it contains reviews. -CompUSA
Now, you might think this would work wonders for you and your store if all your reviews are good ones, but what about the negative reviews? Should you allow those to remain on your site? Absolutely.
Bad reviews aren’t as damaging as you might think. The weight of bad to good reviews allows a consumer to really see how great the product is. If there are 4 negative reviews, but 100 good ones, then the consumer can assume the product really works. If the consumer sees there are 300 great reviews and zero negative ones, the consumer will most likely think the reviews are moderated and may not trust the product enough to buy it. You lose credibility as a merchant when you hide what your consumers really have to say about your product.
Reviews also help the consumer gauge the product’s strengths and weaknesses and reduces the return and complaint rate. If I’m looking to purchase a pair of shoes that’s reviewed as super comfy but lasts only 3 months, I can gauge if I want to spend the money for comfort and trade in durability. When they fall apart in 3 months it’s expected instead of surprising because I knew what I was getting when I bought the product. Had there been no reviews about durability, I’d be on the phone demanding some kind of refund.
In order to make your reviews as helpful as possible make sure they’re displayed in a clear and very visible way on the site. You should also use some kind of rating system, like stars, so consumers who are in a hurry and don’t have time to read the reviews can quickly skim over the ratings to see how well the product has done.
You should also encourage your consumers to leave a review by mentioning it in their purchase confirmations and in your newsletter. Let them know that if they’ve enjoyed your product, you’d love to have them rate it on your site to help others.
CoreCommerce has both a review and rating system built right into the software, so if you’re not using it, it’s to your benefit to start!