The importance of online reviews

According to ShipStation.com, 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews; 88% of online shoppers include reviews in their purchase decision, and 70% of customers consult reviews or ratings before making a final purchase.These stats speak for themselves. Customers love to read about the experiences previous buyers have had with your products and will use them to aid their decision-making process when buying from your site.


Customers love to buy things via word of mouth. Indeed, consumer reviews are significantly more trusted than descriptions that come from manufacturers. Every time a customer leaves a review of a product it is like they are giving a personal referral, only in digital form. The reviews award you credibility which radiates trust which will resonate with your consumer base, increasing your sales and conversion rates.


online review can increase your conversion rate


Online reviews as a part of the decision-making process

Online reviews have become commonplace on many major eCommerce sites. So much so that they have become a staple part of the decisions making the process for consumers. Prior to buying a product, consumers like to carry out research. Think about it, if you can’t see, touch or feel a product, then you want to do all the research you can to feel reassured that there will be no surprises when the product arrives. Nowadays, consumers go straight to the reviews pages to learn more about what they can expect from you and your offerings.


The psychology behind looking to reviews for reassurance that products are of a certain quality and then believing the information you find, is interesting.  Consensus, is behind a lot of this behaviour. Consensus, is the idea that the human race prefers to act or behave in a way that is inline with the rest of the human population. Hence we look for people and their behaviours to copy, in this case a series of individuals who have bought a product and given their seal of approval.


Product reviews also allow you, to carry out your own market research. Upon gaining an understanding of what products are popular, you can then move the popular products to the top of your product pages, to feature and promote them further. If you receive negative feedback, then you can also take this information on-board and make adjustments and adaptions where necessary.


online reviews are positive for SEO


Good for SEO

Search engines love dynamic content that is updated frequently. Customer reviews are an easy way to achieve this. They make product pages more dynamic and if customers are leaving reviews regularly. Consumers often search for the name of the product plus the word ‘review’, if you have reviews on your site next to your products then you stand a better chance of picking up this traffic. In addition, people leaving reviews tend to use the same language that other people will use when actually searching for products, resulting in more traffic landing on the correct pages of your site. Finally, the additional content generated by user reviews increases the chance of your site ranking well for long tail searches. One thing to bear in mind though- leave out javascript and plugins if you want your reviews to be visible to the SERPS.


So, how do you get consumers to leave those all-important reviews?

A combination of approaches usually pays off. Make sure you email your customers post-purchase, making sure that they had a positive experience with your site and then ask for a review. Make the review making processes as simple as possible. Link to the relevant part of your site from any newsletters or follow up emails and make sure the reviews are shareable on social media. This increases word of mouth advertising and establishes a social graph of your customers.


Online reviews are a godsend when it comes to your ability to gain extra brownie points with Google. They can increase your ranking significantly, pushing more traffic towards your site. They also serve as marks of validity for visitors to your site, looking to abolish any pre-purchase nerves. Online reviews are markers of truth that consumers can refer to straight away, when looking to understand more about a particular product.