How Customer Reviews Boost your eCommerce Growth Strategy
The following write-up deals with the benefits of collecting customer reviews for your business. The purpose of this blog post is to highlight how collecting and managing your online reputation can impact your Opencart shop.
TrustedCompany is an open review platform, that connects eCommerce shoppers and merchants, allowing review collection, management, and marketing for your shop - for free.
Our new Opencart plug-in automates your customer review collection, which is the first step to getting your journey towards getting user-generated, revenue-driving content for your business. For more information on our tool and plug-in, please check out our plug-in page.
Being in the online buying and selling of things makes you no stranger to customer reviews.
- Tried and tested customer reviews to no satisfactory results
- Are currently experimenting with them but don’t really know how to take it forward
- Have heard of customer reviews, realise how they work for larger giants like Amazon but don’t really know how it could scale a small eCommerce business like yours
Whichever category you fall into, this read will give you some hard earned wisdom, a little guidance and above all, a case for why customer reviews need to be part of your eCommerce growth strategy.
When we speak to small to medium sized online eCommerce businesses on what their priority is, all of them say ‘growth’. And when we ask how, in a nutshell this is the answer we get:
- Increase visibility;
- Which will lead to an increase in traffic;
- That will result in an increase in sales;
- And eventually increase loyalty and retention.
And that cycle will constantly feed itself.
Customer reviews is a start to that cycle and it can help you with all those four increases above.
How can you increase your visibility using customer reviews?
Since the first place your customers will go to look for you is Google search, that’s where we’ll begin.
Search engine ranking
Customer reviews can significantly enhance your visibility and ranking on search. Review signals are one of the top ten most important local search ranking factors and since Google rewards relevant content, its search engine spiders rank websites with fresh and unique content higher than those with static pages.
Many eCommerce sites use a standard description and product specification on all their company and product pages. The way to differentiate those pages and make them stand out on search engines is to regularly update the content. We know that with a standard product, that is difficult to do.
Customer reviews provide your eCommerce store with fresh content that is regularly updated making your webpages more useful to incoming traffic. In fact, 800 words of review text can make up 70% of fresh content for your page, which search engines reward with higher rankings.
Apart from ranking higher on SERPs, customer reviews can also help you increase your click-through-rate (CTR) by using markups such as review Rich Snippets.
This type of markup shows your aggregate review ratings directly in search and can greatly improve your conversion rate. Studies have shown this increase in CTR to be as high as 20%.
When writing reviews, your customers will use the same language as your potential customers when they search for your products. A simple keyword mismatch can make you lose all that incoming traffic and potential sales.
The term>‘hoodies’ was born out of one such mismatch. Manufacturers and retailers used to call them ‘hooded sweatshirts’ whilst shoppers referred to them as ‘hoodies’ whenever they wrote customer reviews or searched online. Overtime, retailers awoke to the keyword mismatch and switched it in all their product descriptions. The online stores which had customer reviews embedded into their website were lucky enough to not lose out on all that traffic.
Bottomline: customer reviews have the potential to increase your search engine visibility, ranking and the chances of picking up relevant, quality traffic that will easily convert onto your website.
Speaking of traffic…
Adding customer reviews to your AdWords campaigns increases traffic by 17%
With Google Seller Ratings now showing across all global Google domains, you can make your Google Search ads stand out from your competition all while increasing your click-through-rates, decreasing your cost-per-click and improving your Quality Score.
What are Seller Ratings? To recap, they are an automated extension displayed next to your AdWords ads in a visual dimension that lets customers know on a star rating scale of 1-5 of how trusted your business is. On top of that, it is a service free to all advertisers.
Using Seller Ratings across your Google AdWords campaigns:
- Increases your AdWords click-through rate (CTR) by 17% on average
- Increases the ranking of your AdWords against competitors
- Leads to a higher quality score, which decreases your cost per click (CPC)
- Helps consumers identify trustworthy shops to buy from
- Drives more qualified leads to your site
What’s the difference between Google Seller Ratings and Rich Snippets? While Seller Ratings only appear on paid ads, Rich Snippets appear on organic search results. Also, Review Rich Snippets provide a snapshot of your overall rating but do not offer any further details apart from what is displayed.
Learn more about reaching for the stars using our Google Seller Ratings guide.
Bottomline: integrating your customer reviews across your paid marketing campaigns leads quality traffic to your webstore. Why? Because it’s not you doing the marketing, it is your existing customers selling for you and as such, that increases trust and credibility in you as an eCommerce merchant.
We’ve talked about >visibility and traffic. Both metrics are of no use if they don’t lead to the following: sales.
Increase your sales by up to 200% using customer reviews
If your eCommerce conversion funnel is optimised, the only thing an increase in visibility and traffic will result in is a generation of more sales.
As ACTNIC states, products with positive ratings sell up to 200% better than products without reviews. They further add that amongst those sites that display reviews, 42% saw an increase in average order value.
Bazaarvoice adds to the argument through their Volume 8 Conversion Index study. A single customer review embedded on your website can increase your conversion rate by 10%. Bump that number to 100 reviews and your conversion rate increases by 37%. And if we follow the graph below and increase the number to 200 reviews, the conversion rate increases to 44%.
In a nutshell, the number of customer reviews displayed on your website is directly proportional to the number of orders.
Anotherstudy found that 54% of eCommerce shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. That’s not only limited to online consumers either. With the emergence of the Research Online Buy Offline (ROBO) consumer, 39% of in-store consumers too check reviews online before making their decision.
Here’s the crux of the study though:
For every US$1 that is influenced by an online review, the impact is four to five times multiplied for by in store revenue.
[TrustedCompany’s on site widget to showcase customer reviews]
Reviews affect your sales. Period.
Bottomline: assure your web visitors every step of the way by displaying your customer reviews on the homepage right through to your checkout pages.
If you would like to collect customer reviews for your business and show them on your OpenCart shop, your Google search results, and on Facebook, sign-up here for TrustedCompany reviews: