For many eCommerce sites, customer reviews are the key to driving sales

If you’re marketing to millennials, one of the most important things you need to do is provide a way for customers to read and leave reviews.

Millennials are the first generation to be raised with technology as a normal part of life. This has shaped the customer journey they expect to go on. They are more inclined to research products before making a purchase. Customers today are seeking social proof, which is something that you can give them through product reviews.

Customer reviews do more than just provide legitimacy, they also help drive conversions, and some other important things:

Product Reviews Inspire Trust

Building trust can be difficult for eCommerce stores, so adding customer reviews can make a site appear trustworthy. While you can promote your product as ‘the best’, it is the voice of your customers that inspires trust.

Customers tend to trust the recommendations of other consumers. A study found that 67 percent of consumers trust online reviews from complete strangers and more than half of respondents said that onsite reviews influenced their purchasing decisions.

Customer reviews posted to your website tell your customer you are willing to be transparent about your product or service. This transparency is the foundation for developing trust with potential customers and securing sales.

They Help Boost Your Product’s SEO

Product reviews can help boost your search engine optimization (SEO). When customers leave product reviews, they contribute to your site’s unique content that can be indexed and ranked by search engines.

Customers use natural language in their reviews, which often include long-tail keywords. These long-tail keywords can give your site an SEO boost and drive highly-targeted traffic to your eCommerce site.

Product Reviews Increase CTRs and Conversions

Consumers are obviously more likely to click on an ad with a five-star rating over one with no rating. Ratings give customers information about your product or service before they have even entered your website.

Rating reviews can also persuade consumers to click on your ads, increasing your click-through rates and driving more traffic to your website.

Customer Feedback Can Improve Your Products

Customers provide valuable insights. Product reviews can help you improve a product or service and understand what issues, weaknesses or strengths your product provides.

However, you need to incentivise your customers to leave feedback. Of course, one way is to simply provide an excellent product or service, but you might need to give people a further nudge to see results. Follow up emails asking for feedback, offers that encourage people to reply and even a commitment to correct issues for customers with fast replies or replacement products help encourage people to give you honest feedback that helps you improve your business.

Builds Consumer Loyalty

Loyal customers are vital to your eCommerce business’s success. Your product reviews can be used to create brand loyalty, a valuable asset for any business.

For example, featuring customer reviews regularly on your blog or putting their testimonials on your website can make customers feel connected with your brand. People like to see themselves ‘published’ on websites (social media is evidence of this and posting customer photos using your products and featuring their comments is a great way to invite their loyalty.

Even Bad Reviews Can Lead to a Purchase

Many businesses are concerned about bad reviews posted on their website. You can manage which comments are published to your website using plug-ins, but bad reviews do not necessarily mean loss of sales.

Bad reviews can increase conversions by 67 percent. Some customers will read a review and find the information is not relevant to their needs. Some potential customers take a bad review and understand the worst of your product, and find that your response to the review is what matters.

If you treat your customers who leave bad reviews as valuable, respond to their concerns in a transparent and helpful way, and follow up with them in the comments section, your reviews become a place for a conversation. This can inspire customers to trust that your concerns are customer care, not profits.

Product Reviews Inspire Confidence

Product reviews matter because they can remove any final doubts that your customers have and give them the confidence to go to cart. A product review can give that final detail that the customer is looking for, for example, if a customer is unsure about the quality of the leather in the sandals you sell, a customer might comment that they are firm and take a few weeks to break in, which can help close a sale for someone wanting a long-lasting product.

Product reviews share valuable information for your online shoppers. Reviews can give your website legitimacy, boost customer confidence, improve your products and services and contribute to your brand in ways that you cannot manufacture through marketing.