If you work for/run an eCommerce company you should know by now that it’s pretty much common sense to incorporate product reviews into your marketing mix. The evidence is undeniable (i’ve compiled a few of my favourite review statistics here), however there are far fewer articles looking at the benefits of online reviews of eCommerce companies themselves.
That’s what I want to talk about. Why? Because I have seen the benefits myself, and because I currently work in a business that values company reviews as much as product reviews. I live and breathe this every day, and this is exactly what I have found (backed up by a few statistics).
Reviews in any form are important to eCommerce businesses. Why? Because what people think of the company they are buying from means as much as the products they are in turn considering purchasing. After all, 80% of companies say they deliver superior customer service. But guess what? Only 8% of their customers agree (Jaybaer.com, 2016). In addition 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews (iPerceptions, 2011).
There is no better way for you to display how good you are than by letting other people write it. At the end of the day, put yourself in the customers shoes, and be honest with yourself . . . are you more likely to believe what a company says, or what other people, your peers are saying?
Yeah I thought so, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view) people believe people over businesses.
Why is this important to eCommerce businesses?
The answer is simple. Encourage your customers to not only leave reviews on products brought and owned, but also on the business. Because, both types of reviews mean very different things in online retail.
Whilst product reviews focus on the specifics about particular goods and services sold by the company. This is important to people towards the end of their search. This helps aid the final purchase decision.
However, reviews of the company are more of a reflection on the companies delivery times, customer service, product range, user experience and so on. This means a lot to some customers, and is looked at much earlier in the customer journey. Also according to Comscore when it comes to quality of service, consumers are willing to pay up to 99% more for an excellent rating than a good rating (depending upon product category).
Therefore, I can conclude from this brief article that for eCommerce companies, company reviews can be just as important as product reviews for generating sales. Yet still only 26% of the 137 top retailers surveyed offered customer rating and reviews (Forrester). This is something that needs to change, and if you’ve read any other articles i’ve written you’ll also understand there are so many more benefits to reviews than simply selling more stuff . . .