User reviews, the world of mouth of the internet.
In an era where YouTube comments set a new low bar for the “conversations” and “community” that the internet often claims to desire to create, the value of legitimate user input, like reviews, can be a powerful tool for growing merchandise sales.
Adding reviews to e-commerce stores lets customers share their experiences and make more informed buying decisions.
Reviews are a tangible feature of the online shopping experience. There’s a growing trend that shoppers tend to trust the reviews of other customers more than the manufacturer (FIND DATA). So, in an era of infinite sharing and social commentary, reviews are a reasonable feature to consider for any Shopify or WooCommerce store.
- 92% of consumers now read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014)
- Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
- 68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more (vs. 72% in 2014)
Some examples of relevant review feedback your customers are:
- “Shoes run small, get ½ size up.”
- “These fit like a glove!”
- “My husband loves these. He got black AND brown versions.”
- “The hoodie zipper broke on my first wear.”
An active reviews strategy will also illustrate the responsiveness of your company. In addition, a comment moderation strategy and reviews policy needs attention and implementation. It’s infrequent, but profanity, inappropriate photos, or spam can arise and it needs to be reviewed to ensure no bad actors are affecting the store experience.
Customer praise or customer criticism – Are you prepared to respond quickly? A great user experience would be to quickly respond within the review forum, let them know you’re listening, and that you’re prepared to fix the issue. Then, resolve the issue quickly. Customers can then reply within the forum, “problem solved, thanks!”
If your operation can’t commit to a high level of customer service, then it might not be ready for reviews and comments.
Amazon.com, a top review-driven e-commerce experience, has a deep take on this process.
One of the great things about the internet is the impermanence it offers all of us. Quick edits, “working drafts” are a nice option to use, when applicable. So, you have the option to test reviews and see if it’s a fit for your operation. Be smart, be transparent… move fast, breaking things (wink).