Reviewing products online is a helpful way for customers to learn about new products and services and share their experiences with others. Reviews are written by customers, not brands, so the information is subjective. However, the insight gained from reviews can help brands make adjustments or changes to better suit their customers’ needs.
Viewers of online reviews tend to have high trust in them because they come from real people rather than marketers or advertisers. But that doesn’t mean all reviews are trustworthy. Customers may not identify what reviews are real or not so businesses are advised to take action against fake reviews.
This article will discuss how customers use online product reviews, what you can do to leverage this tool as part of your marketing plan, and how to get more reviews.
Online Reviews Today
Online reviews are becoming more and more important as consumers turn to the internet to inform their purchasing decisions. According to a 2018 report, 82% of consumers read online reviews, and a majority of those people decide to make purchases based on the reviews they read.
Reviews are particularly important for those shopping for major purchases such as appliances, vehicles, or services. The type of reviews that people write online has also changed. Customers used to mainly leave reviews on their purchases to warn others about their experience with the product or service.
Today, many customers also use reviews as a way to give brand feedback on what they would like to see changed. Brands need to take this feedback seriously and consider how they can use it to improve their products or services.
Reviews Vs. Feedback
Online reviews and feedback are two ways to collect information about customers’ experiences with your products or services. And while both offer brand owners insight into their customers’ wants and needs, they are not the same.
Feedback is a customer’s unedited opinion that they typically leave on a survey form. Reviews, on the other hand, are written comments that customers post online. Feedback helps brands understand customer pain points and what they like about their products or services. Reviews, on the other hand, help customers find other customers with similar interests.
This can include what customers dislike about their purchased product or service, or what improvements customers think could be made.
How Customers Use Online Reviews
Identifying Relevant Products
When customers start browsing for products to review, one of the first steps is to figure out which products to review. You can help customers find relevant products by encouraging them to review your products online.
You can do this by including review prompts on your product pages. Most review sites let you include a review call-to-action (CTA) on your product pages. This can be a button or link that customers can click to leave a review.
Make sure that the CTA terms are visible on the button or link to avoid any confusion. For example, if you sell cameras, you could include a review CTA on your digital camera product page. The CTA could read, “Click here to review this product.”
Learning About Expectations
Customers who leave reviews often do so to give feedback to the brand. However, some customers may leave reviews to rant or complain about their experience with the product or service.
This can be a good opportunity for the brand to learn more about customer expectations. When customers leave negative reviews, they are likely frustrated and unhappy with the product or service they received.
Other customers who leave positive reviews are likely satisfied with their experience. This means you can use negative reviews to identify problem areas and improve your customer service. The positive reviews can also be used to determine customer satisfaction with your products or services.
Comparing Different Products
Reviewers often compare products in their reviews. This can be useful for customers who are interested in purchasing a similar product to what the reviewer purchased.
You can help customers compare your product to others by including product comparisons in your marketing strategy. Product comparisons can be included on your website, in product descriptions, or social media posts. They should be honest, but also focus on the positives of your product.
Most importantly, you should use comparisons as an opportunity to engage with customers and start a conversation.
Checking The Legitimacy of Products
Customers often look at reviews to decide if they should buy a product at all, but they also use reviews to evaluate if the product they’re thinking of buying is legitimate.
Customers can search reviews for a product and see if any consistent issues are being brought up by customers. If there are reviews that mention issues that seem to be consistent with the product, it can help customers identify if a product might be fake.
Knowing the Experience of Other Customers
Reviewers often discuss their experience with a product or service. This can help customers make a purchasing decision and know what to expect when using the product.
You can encourage customers to share their experience with your product or service by giving them an open invitation to do so. Meanwhile, you can leverage the reviews customers leave on your product pages to share their experiences with others.
This can be done by highlighting positive reviews, as well as negative reviews that include helpful suggestions for improvement.
Leveraging Online Reviews
Online product reviews are an important part of a successful marketing strategy. To make the most of this tool, follow the tips above to engage with customers and encourage them to leave reviews. This can be done by offering excellent customer service, responding to customer feedback, and following up with customers after a sale.
You can also use online review insights to improve your product or service and better suit your customers’ needs. You can do this by following up with customers who have left reviews, especially positive reviews, to thank them for their feedback and suggestions.
Finally, you can use online reviews to create social proof for your brand. Social proof is a concept that suggests customers are more likely to trust a product or service if others have used it and had a positive experience. Online reviews are a great way to show potential customers that other customers are satisfied with your product or service.
How To Get More Reviews
There are a few ways that you can get more reviews on your products and increase their overall rating. First, you can ask your customers to review their products after they buy them. You can do this on social media and your product pages online. You can also offer incentives to customers who want to review your products.
You can offer a discount on their next purchase or a gift card. Another strategy is to ask your staff to leave reviews for products they use. You can also ask your suppliers to leave feedback on your products.
Online reviews are a valuable tool for customers and brands alike. Customers can use reviews to make better purchasing decisions, check for product legitimacy, and know the experience of other customers.
Brands can use these same reviews to improve their products and boost sales. Reviews are not just a way to know if your product is good or bad, It is also a tool to market the product and attract more customers. Businesses shall put more importance on online reviews because positive reviews can be a free marketing tool.
That being said, not all reviews are created equal. It’s important to identify which reviews are biased or untrustworthy and see through them when reading online reviews. Reviewers also leave behind different types of reviews, ranging from short ratings to long-form content pieces.
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