Person to person recommendations are the secret sauce of revenue growth for ecommerce stores. Web visitors place a high premium on feedback with 70 percent of customers trusting them more than marketing material and 83 percent of holiday shoppers influenced strongly by reviews.
It is important to understand the difference in the experience customers has in a brick-and-mortar store and the one they have online. When shopping online, words and images are all we have to persuade customers to buy our products. It’s easier to sell to customers in a physical store because, in addition to words and images, we can use our tone of voice and body language to influence purchasing decisions. In the physical store, we can also adapt our message based on our customers’ reactions to what we are saying.
Customer feedback and online reviews help bridge that gap. Other shoppers trust these messages because it puts them in the mindset of those who have made similar purchases in the past. Among the benefits of customer reviews, both positive and negative ones, are an increase in conversions and better results on search engines.
Increase the Trust Factor
According to an article from Econsultancy about the effectiveness of consumer reviews:
- A product with 50 or more reviews will get a 4.6 percent uptick in conversions
- Web visitors who interact with reviews are 105 percent more likely to make a purchase and spend 11 percent more than those who don’t.
- Product reviews, on average, increase sales 18 percent.
Show Negative Reviews and Increase Conversions
One hundred five star reviews are far less valuable than 93 good or great reviews and seven negative ones. Sounds counterintuitive, right? But if something is too good to be true, it probably is.
According to, Blog, Blogger, and the Firm: Can Negative Posts by Employees Lead to Positive Outcomes?, “In contrast to the popular perception, our results reveal a potential positive aspect of negative posts.” While that research is about employees blogging negatively about the companies they work for, the results can be extrapolated to consumer reviews about the products they buy.
Only great businesses know how to deal with negative feedback in a public space. You should make it as simple as possible for a customer to leave feedback, and then, if some of it is negative, show other customers you know how to put things right when they go wrong. Research from Reevoo indicates that the presence of negative reviews increases a websites trust factor, and can contribute to a conversion uptick of 67 percent!
Generate Authentic SEO Value
There are three reasons Google rewards a website that features customer feedback:
- Fresh content – Google loves (even with its constant algorithm changes) fresh content written by real people. Giving users a social authentication login will only further support SEO benefits, increasing the value of the inbound link.
- Real-time customer crafted keyword research – Look at the words your customer are using in their feedback. They might describe your products better than you have. When there’s a noticeable enough difference always adapt in favor of the customers language. This will help potential customers find your store quicker since it will start ranking higher in search results.
- More data for Google – With enough reviews, Google will be able to better piece together and display these data snippets. This will increase click-through rates since customers will have a slightly higher implicit trust factor built into how they think about your website. According to an Econsultancy article about the benefits of customer reviews, research from Distilled shows that reviews that become rich snippet data in search results can result in a 10-20 percent increase in conversions.
Online feedback and reviews can also be used offline — in brochures and other material. Leverage this asset as much as possible. After all, you wouldn’t be getting positive reviews if it wasn’t well earned.
Online feedback and reviews are an essential ingredient in the digital marketing mix if you want to increase conversions and revenue for your ecommerce store. Even some negative reviews help provide the reassurance that new customers need to make a purchase, and all reviews contribute to ongoing SEO strategies.
This was a guest post from Benjamin Kerry, CEO of Precise English, an SEO copywriting agency. Find out more here.