Will product reviews help you sell more?

Reviews have for a long time been the method for consumers to assess whether they buy or use a product/service. Whether its a review on a particular hotel, airline, ski resort or hair dryer many consumers look to review sites for an impartial opinion on the things they want. In the internet age long gone is the recommendation of old via acquaintances and no one relies solely on the claims of a tv advertisement.

Some of the big players in the industry include Tripadvisor, Amazon, Reevoo, Trustpilot, Rated People and Google amongst others covering the entire spectrum of consumer goods and services.

How do they work?

Reviews are submitted via a number of methods. Some sites allow users to submit a review after reading the reviews of others. Other sites use the follow up method – sending the consumer of a product/service an “after delivery” email asking them to review the company/product/service they have utilised. These sites usually incentivise the reviewer with entry into a “competition” or some form of discount code to be used post review.

Other sites simply post reviews themselves – unfortunate but it happens – this is usually to get the ball rolling and to feign activity on the review process and for those all important endorsements we all want to see.

 What are the facts?

  • 50% of consumers look to product review sites before making a purchase.
  • 60% of consumers are more likely to buy from a site that has independant reviews
  • Consumers trust a product review over the websites own description of it
  • Websites that have introduced reviews see an average of an 18% uplift in sales AFTER introducing reviews on their site

 What are the downsides?

The main drawback with reviews on your site or about your product/service is that you have to be prepared to take the good with bad. If your reviews are hosted via a 3rd party you will have little control of what is being said and only the ability to respond to a bad review. If the reviews are hosted on your own site you will have greater control over what you publish to your site and what you don’t but does anyone beleive 50 5 star reviews on a products – probably not.

A mixture of good and bad reviews has proved important to consumers when establishing trust – if 4 out 20 reviews are bad then people are more likely to side with the good ones and take the bad ones as one offs. Age and experience is large factor on a consumers ability to sift through positive and negative reviews.

Reviews take time – whether your trying to respond to a negative one or approve them for publishing it takes time. Dont be fooled into thinking that these review sites are the only source of opinion – look to your social networking profiles on Facebook and Twitter for comments on your products and service. Some years ago we were “threatened” to be tweeted about by someone who wasn’t even a client in some bizarre dislike for us so you have to vigilant across all avenues of online reviews.

And the upsides?

Increases trust in your company and the products/services you offer.

Increased CTR on your content

Search engine boost when people search for “[your product name] reviews”

Fresh content for the search engines – which they love (please note that 3rd party review sites may utilise widgets and iframes making your reviews invisible to search engines on your site but not on theirs)

How do I get reviews on my site?

Many ecommerce platforms have reviews built into them so look on your control panel for it.

If not you can use a third party supplier such as Reviews.co.uk, Revoos, Trustpilot which can email customers on your behalf after every order.

Get your developer to make one for you – its easy!

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