Credibility is a major factor for the success any online business. Unlike physical stores where you can directly touch or test the product, online stores don’t offer this capability. The products can only be seen through images or the products themselves may be digital content.
This is where credibility comes in. People would end up less likely to buy your products when you are untrustworthy. But how do you prove to customers that you are trustworthy in the first place?
In the cut-throat world of business, there are many strategies you can implement to raise your credibility.
Some website owners include guarantees or free trials to their products or services. Some decorate their site with trust seals from respected industry leaders. Some engage actively on social networking sites to create relationships with their customers. But one widely respected strategy is to get customer reviews.
Actually, customer reviews are great not for just building trust as it provides a slew of other benefits which I have listed below.
As I’ve elaborated above, trust is an important factor for online businesses and customer reviews are great at creating trust. Customers trust reviews more than any manufacturer’s description because they expect a level of empathy from the reviewers. With reviews, people get a closer look into the product from a customer’s point of view. The reviewers also stand to gain nothing so whatever they say is probably the truth.
Surveys have consistently shown that people prefer to shop on sites which have customer reviews. Even negative reviews have this benefit because it shows honesty and transparency. And the more reviews a product has, the easier it is for the customer to differentiate reviewers who might not be telling the entire truth and justify their decision to purchase or not to purchase the product.
Reviews also have an SEO benefit because reviewers almost always write their review in way that is similar to how other customers search for a product in search engines. This can also include frequent misspellings and specific questions and answers. These may just be what a searcher will type in a search engine.
Though remember to ensure that your reviews can be read by search engine crawlers. Make sure that your review solution does not place the reviews in a frame because you will lose this benefit when you don’t let the search engine crawlers read your reviews.
Customer reviews also create more descriptions for the product. Some may even be missing from the site’s own description and specifications. This gives the customers more insight about the product and can help them decide whether they want to purchase the product or not.
The more information the customers gain about a product, the less likely are they to continue doing their research somewhere else.
Rating and Popularity
When a customer searches through a specific category of products, a lot of times the customer might sort the products according to star rating which means customer review ratings. This can help your customers determine which products are rated the highest by other customers just like them.
Customer reviews also offer insights to what your customers like or hate about your products. If reviewers dislike a certain product, they will always tell you why they dislike it. You can then just take the necessary steps to improve your product. You can even decide to discontinue offering that product on your site.
You can even use customer reviews as proof to your manufacturers or suppliers that their product might not be as good as they advertised. Talk to them and plan out a course of action.
Along with improving the trust factor, customer reviews have many other benefits. When you offer this option in your site, you are ultimately improving your relationship with your current and future customers. So work your customer reviews and get as much of them as you can.