Consumers have become increasingly influenced by reviews, creating the opportunity for brands to grow sales, conversions and trust by displaying this information. In addition, more consumers are undertaking their own research before committing to a purchase, with 76% of UK consumers carrying out research or getting inspiration online before making a purchase.
While 97% of consumers say that reviews play a part in their buying decisions, a surprising number of brands fail to utilise this simple strategy.
So how can brands tap into this trend and increase conversions through reviews? Here’s everything you need to know.
The first thing to be aware of is that today’s generation of informed customers expect relevant information quickly, efficiently, and ideally in one place. More consumers are doing their own research before committing to a purchase, whether they intend to place the order online or in store. To highlight the demand for reviews, an impressive 94% of consumers regularly check customer reviews when looking to purchase a product or service.
One of the biggest and most time-consuming obstacles for consumers carrying out their own research is the fact that reviews can be split across countless sites, leaving them unsure whether to visit Google, Amazon, Facebook, brand websites, or independent review websites to find the information they need. This means that if brands don’t feature reviews, consumers are likely to go elsewhere, where they are able to view competitors’ products and become distracted.
Regardless of how people shop, whether it’s online or offline, reviews have become a vital part of the fact-finding process for potential customers.
Reviews have been proven to create an 18% uplift in sales, with benefits including increased conversion rates, larger order sizes and repeat purchases. Giving consumers the confidence they need to make a purchase, a star rating can quickly turn an unsure customer into a paying one.
Another example of the impact of reviews is the Spiegel Research Center study, which found that displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%. On higher priced products, including reviews can increase conversion rates by an incredible 380%.
Including reviews online can work to increase the likelihood of a purchase drastically. Consumers are heavily influenced by other people’s experiences, with 88% of customers being as influenced by an online review as they are by a personal recommendation.
While sales teams may help to sell specific products in store, customers must have initial interest in products, to attract them into stores in the first place. Reviews are able to influence consumers before they even walk through the doors, as well as being on hand to give confidence to those who are undecided about making a purchase.
Including reviews and star ratings creates a feeling of transparency and honesty in a customer’s journey, helping them to place their trust in your brand. Demonstrating the value of including reviews, 84% of people trust the views of real shoppers the most, while only 52% trust the views of friends and family most. In addition to this, a report by Statista showed that 72% of people believe that positive customer reviews make them trust a business more.
Most consumers want to see the rating of between six and 25 reviews before they place their trust in a brand, with the number of reviews they view typically rising with the value of the item. Featuring average review star ratings is a fantastic method of saving customers’ time, enabling them to quickly base their decision on a potentially unlimited number of reviews.
Including customer ratings alongside a brands’ products does not only work to build loyalty and trust, but also improve reputation.
Technology has made reviews more accessible than ever before, making people increasingly reliant on them to make their decision. Smart phones mean that an individual can search for reviews and understand people’s experiences with a specific product while they are on the go, at home, or even in a shop.
Dotter has developed a way to create an aggregated star rating, using reviews on all of their clients’ retail partner websites. This centralised rating works to inform consumers while the hard work is done on behalf of brands. This technology has not only made it easy for customers to base their purchase decision on a potentially limitless number of reviews, but they can do this in a matter of seconds.
Consumers want everything that they need in one place, to make a quick purchase decision. With 45% of brick-and-mortar sales beginning with an online review, featuring reviews is essential to the buying process. Consumers also seek purchase options and information, with price, promotions and availability joining reviews as the most desirable information when making a purchase.
Most importantly, consumers want to understand the experiences of like-minded shoppers before they purchase, making sure the product will not disappoint them. Star ratings are the most influential part of a review, allowing people to make a quick decision at a glance.
By including the information that consumers seek, brands are able to give customers the information and reassurance they need to make a purchase.
To make the most of this demand for review content, brands should explore the options available. There’s one thing for certain... including reviews is part of offering a five-star experience for customers.
Whether the reviews are on a brand’s own site, or multiple third party sites, Dotter has a number of methods to integrate review content, with a unique aggregation tool to create a unique star rating based on all available reviews or products, regardless of where that information lives online. To speak to the Dotter team about making the most of review content, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Holly Worthington