When was the last time you asked for a review on you? Yesterday? Last week? Never? And if you did ask for a review, did you act on the feedback?
I am willing to bet that you did – we marketers certainly crave feedback and honesty, and we even try to weave it into our creative efforts.
I’m also willing to bet that when you received the review, you reaped the benefits by reacting to it. After all, feedback is key to workplace success.
So why should you treat your business any differently? The answer is that you shouldn’t. Invest time and effort in online reviews and your business will be known, appreciated, promoted, and selling faster than ever before. All from asking the simple question ‘how did we do?’.
Serious customers consult reviews
A fascinating statistic to mull over is the fact that 77% of consumers consult online reviews before making a purchase. But what about the other 23%? Well let us assume they are trusting enough as it is.
Regarding the 77% statistic, let’s distil it into something real: around three of your last four customers who went to the checkout probably saw a review of what they were buying.
A popular statistic from eMarketer claims that consumers trust reviews 12 times more than manufacturer sales descriptions. This statistic is four years old and I still hear it every week.
Either we are kidding ourselves or reviews are still proving to be that powerful.
I am quite sure it is the latter. In fact, an interesting study from Bazaarvoice showed that displaying consumer reviews against consumer electronics (among others) led to a 324% increase in product review volume, and a 26% increase in product visibility.
Reviews increase sales
It might sound bold but reviews do increase sales. At Trustpilot, we have seen businesses record sales increases of 58%.
By strategically placing reviews on your site, our statistics show your conversions can increase by up to 35%.
But even with killer stats like these, we also found that 14% of businesses do not collect reviews at all, and two in 10 collect them but do not display them.
That is a missed opportunity. Maybe it is because reviews are seen as the responsibility of marketing and many of us do not want more work in our crammed schedules.
However, be assured that review collection is easy. Couple the ease with the benefits, and reviews might become your best investment.
Create a customer community
Inviting people to review your product or service involves only sending an email.
After a while, the more reviews you have, the more customers will want to do reviews. By keeping track of the conversations, you will be able to see the following benefits of customer engagement up close and personally.
- You can pick up on emerging issues that customers are experiencing with your company. You can then address the problem before measuring exactly how much impact it has
had on the affected customers – based on their subsequent purchasing records.
- Remember, even negative reviews can be turned into a positive. After all, 15% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company that responded to a negative review and dealt with it successfully.
- Online review communities are an ideal source for impartial feedback and can help consumers make their final buying decision, driving further sales.
There are a host of other benefits that will boost the return on investment (ROI) of your online review community. You can enjoy increased company Google seller ratings via targeted keyword deployment, drive up pay-per-click-rates, improve organic and paid search, and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Show off your social success
Monitoring and engaging with online reviews via your social channels is also another critical revenue generator.
Not only will you be seen as a brand that deals with customers directly and transparently, but customer engagement and ROI can be measured using customer relationship management or social media management software.
These platforms enable you to analyse each customer engagement as they travel down the sales funnel. You will be able to spot which engagements are proving to be financially beneficial – and which are not.
Ultimately, it is imperative to treat social media and online reviews as a continued part of your marketing. Your brand can become the focus for online word of mouth and social advocacy if you do so.
Reviews are a natural investment
No matter what your ecommerce speciality or what you sell, reviews are a natural investment to increase your sales, better your marketing efforts, and build your business.
So go out there and collect reviews, engage with your critics and fans, and let your biggest supporters build your brand.
Read more: Download Trustpilot’s ‘Trust Economy Report: The true value of reviews‘