Why should you want product reviews?

Wiser is a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine that monitors, analyzes, and reprices retail products in real-time. Wiser enables retailers to boost profit margins and revenue, price with confidence, and improve merchandising through a sound pricing strategy.

Naturally Wiser keep an eye on many factors which can influence sale velocities, so today Angelica Valentine from Wiser discusses why reviews are so important.

Why should you want product reviews?

ReviewsAs a consumer you know how important reviews are, but are you devoting enough time and resources to them as a business owner?

Reviews have the ability to reassure us. After all, retailers can say almost anything in a product description to try to get shoppers to choose their products, but reviews are much more transparent.

I always read reviews when I’m buying a product for the first time, especially when it’s apparel. It’s nice to read real customers’ opinions and tips before making the commitment to buy. Reviews can even cut down on returns since shoppers have a better idea of what the product is really like.

Often the reviews I read make or break my purchase decision. When I see a complaint echoed in numerous reviews I steer clear, but when I read glowing reviews, it can lock me in and get me through checkout.

There are a few big questions on the table for online retailers:

How Do I Get Reviews?

If you’re slacking on reviews, you could be missing out on quite a few sales because 92% of consumers read online reviews. This is up from 88% in 2014 according to Bright Local’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Study.

Strive first for quality, then devote some attention to quantity. The number of reviews you have is closely correlated with the number of orders you receive. One review can boost orders by 10% and it peaks at a 44% increase with 200 reviews. (See BuzzPlant’s graph below.)

Reviews mean orders

It’s a lot easier to trust reviews when they are in depth, from multiple perspectives, and among many. But getting them, and especially the first few, can be difficult. That’s where a small incentive comes in.

Bright Local cites that 88% of consumers read up to 10 reviews in order to form an opinion (compared to 84% in 2014), so how do you get those first 10 reviews? Offer a small discount to shoppers that review their purchases. This will increase loyalty as it increases reviews.

Why Negative Reviews Are Important

Bright Local found that positive reviews make consumers trust a local business slightly less than last year (68% in 2015 vs. 72% in 2014). A factor in this change could be that shoppers are worried about fake reviews. If you’re looking for a new shirt to wear to a dinner party, you might have a hard time being convinced if each and every review says it’s perfect.

A few critical reviews round things out because, let’s be honest, no product is perfect to every single person who buys it. I read negative reviews as well to see what they found wrong with the product and disregard them if those specific features aren’t important to me. BuzzPlant actually found that “Reviews with flaws and suggestions are 2.5x more likely to receive helpfulness votes than without.”

Good reviews are key and only certain negative reviews are appropriate. Negative reviews based on factors outside of your control and unrelated to the product can actually be successfully removed if you sell on Amazon. They aren’t a reflection of your performance as a seller. For example, a big snowstorm that delays delivery has no place pulling down your star rating. Ask Amazon to remove those reviews and they will more than likely oblige.

Reviews need to be a core part of your plan to improve your business. You know that shoppers are looking for authentic perspectives on your products and Bright Local data explains that 80% report trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations, although this is down from 83% in 2014. Give shoppers the consumer generated information they’re looking for, especially as they start checking items off their holiday shopping lists. Your sales will thank you.