The Power Of Customer Reviews

5 star reviews

When we start working with a new client, one of the first things our team look for on their website is reviews. It’s funny that, although almost everyone admits to checking reviews when they buy a product, many businesses are not actively collecting reviews from their customers, OR they are, but aren’t showing them off as much as they should be.

In this blog I’m going to go through a few reasons why every business should be collecting and displaying reviews from their customers on their website, and also on other platforms that are visible to the consumer online.

Improve Conversion

It’s been said plenty of times, but it’s worth saying again that reviews can significantly improve your conversion rate (CR). If you’re displaying them on your Google or social ads, or using review schema in the SERP, it can also significantly improve your click through rate (CTR). Just a couple of studies below:

A study by Reevoo found that 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates. 

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

90% customers are encouraged to buy a product after reading positive customer reviews 

You only have to look at some of the biggest and best eCommerce companies on our Embryo Retail Index, who will have spent millions of pounds and man hours on continuously increasing their website revenue through CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) to see that reviews work. I’ve taken screenshots from the website of the top 5 performers on our Retail Index so that you can see how they position their customers’ reviews at the front and centre of their user experience (UX).

Amazon

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ASOS

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M&S

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John Lewis

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Next

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We all know that these companies give their customers the best shopping experiences, so your company should strive to replicate this experience for your customers.

Prevents Customer Service Enquiries

Reviews from other customers will help to prevent your customer service team receiving phone calls, live chat messages, emails and social media messages asking questions. If your reviews from customers explain that an item sizes small, the website user would be more likely to buy a larger size, preventing frustration, costly returns, and negative social media comments. If your reviews say ‘batteries aren’t included’, the consumer knows to buy batteries too. These reviews can also help you to continuously improve your product detail copy, as they will point out any details that you haven’t made clear enough.

Keep Them Off Twitter

This is a rather contentious point, but for some businesses, their brand on social media is more important to protect than their review platforms. If your customers know that they have an open platform for them to post a review, ideally after they’ve had some time to cool off, it would allow them to post a more constructive and thorough review, which is more helpful to your business than a limited character tweet or a comment on a social ad that could be seen by thousands or even millions of people.

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This promoted tweet was seen by 76,000 users, and British Airways failed to respond for over 8 hours.

That being said, a negative review on a platform could also cost a company thousands of pounds – so it’s a very tricky tightrope to walk. The Telegraph published that “Bad reviews and online ‘trolls’ cost UK businesses up to £30,000 a year” after a study was carried out to investigate this topic. 

Despite negative reviews being so powerful, they are always able to be drowned out by positive reviews. Users don’t trust a website or a product that has only positive reviews, as review fraud is so heavily publicised, so getting a negative review is not the end of the world.

Continual Business Improvement

Businesses should want to hear from their customers about what their experience was like, so that they can make that experience better. It’s not a good feeling to receive negative reviews, but it’s better to know that your hard-earned customers have had a negative experience than it is to simply lose business, lose market share, and just not understand why. If, for example, your logistics company are damaging parcels and being uncommunicative and/or not delivering on time, the reviews your customers leave will tell you so. This will give a) some proof you could show to your logistics Account Manager that their service isn’t good enough, and b) show you that you’ve got delivery issues and change provider if you need to. If your customers are finding your packaging hard to open, or it’s not environmentally friendly, again, this feedback is an invaluable insight into what your customers want you to improve to win their hearts.

Yes, review platforms like Trustpilot and Feefo can be pricey, but I’ve seen first hand the impact they can make when they are implemented well, and I don’t know any of our clients who have regretted it, and I’ve seen conversion rates improve the moment that reviews are implemented. If you’re a newer business, you can also start off by collecting Google or Facebook reviews for free, and use the free Trustpilot option, and then look to invest in a more costly review platform further into your business plan.

Embryo are Trustpilot Partners, so please do get in touch if you’re looking for advice on implementing reviews onto your website.