Consumers buying decisions are shaped by the reviews and opinion of their shoppers. Engaging yet simple e-commerce sites have become the norm of the day. This article gives the two most rewarding tools to indulge customers in your e-commerce site.
As per a survey undertaken by Millennial Media Mobile Retail Study, 13.1 million consumers access retail content via mobile phones with 8.2 million of those visiting mobile commerce websites. Consumers empower a brand and businesses must use this asset to fuel their branding efforts and to generate more revenue. How? By including review and rating sections in the site to increase user engagement levels. These tools are simple yet highly powerful in their own respect. Interactive user reviews and ratings generate a wealth of data that companies can utilize to improve its product and services. Moreover, critical, unbiased and authentic reviews drive more sales while easy to follow user ratings develop user’s trust in the brand.
Let’s take a look at the two most rewarding tools to indulge customers in your e-commerce site:
Garner Positive Reviews
According to a survey by eMarketer.com, 65% of online buyers use consumer-generated reviews in making a buying decision. This makes evident as to how useful customer reviews are in driving a business. Any review whether positive or negative can make or break a brand. It is also seen that the number of reviews for any product is directly proportional to the price of that item. Especially when decisions have to be made around expensive items, customers like to hunt for as many reviews as possible before finalizing their decision.
In the web full of all sorts of reviews, how can customers authenticate their source? As per another study conducted by eMarketer it is found that 55% of comparison shoppers actually believe user reviews. If one looks closely at the different array of reviews available on the web, one can easily learn to tell the original ones from the fake.
There are other useful tools that help brands to garner authentic reviews. Comparison charts are a great tool to pass on the message to the existing and potential customers in an easy to follow format. It helps online shoppers to compare each and every product feature in a quick and simple way thus leading to faster sales. Brands sometimes turn to experts for reviews. Though these are regarded as less beneficial compared to user reviews they do serve a purpose. Such reviews are like taking expert advice on the product or service built for the users.
According to Reevoo, reviews produce an average of 18% uplift in sales. Reviews must work like sincere recommendations from friends, experts or strangers. They must be authentic at the same time sound critical. A site with all positive reviews will lose its credibility just like the site with all negative reviews of customers complaining about their products or services. Reviews are a free yet dynamic brand development tool; marketers must avoid posting exaggerated product literature, so to avoid unwanted reviews. Reviews either positive or negative are important for a business. According to Reevoo, 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative opinions on the site.
Another thing to keep in mind is to display reviews using a chart form or to ask other visitors to rate the listed reviews on the web page. Brands must also ask customers to review their products as well as leave information about them on the review page. This will help to lure new customers and help brands to devise any changes required in their navigation.
Generate High Ratings
User ratings are a quick and easy way to receive feedback on products, services or about any other aspect the brand needs to know. Usually ratings do not take up a lot of their user’s time and effort. Standard rating formats are an instant hit among the users such as number ratings from 1-5. Using visual ratings is not a good idea as it may mean different things to different people and may end up confusing the visitors. The best is to include descriptive words like good, bad, satisfied, hate so the users can be more specific about their ratings. Make sure to clearly explain the rating option with direct words like “rate it" which is easy to understand even by first time visitors.
Always place the rating next to or below the product or service it is meant for. This will allow visitors to quickly scan through the available list on the page. Include user votes too while rating the product so it becomes easier for users to skim through the gallery and make instant buying decisions.
The best form of ratings is the descriptive one. These are more useful than mere number or percentages as they give a clear idea of what rating metric stands for. There are other forms of rating scales available as well namely: choice modeling and maximum difference scaling. Choice modeling tries to classify the decision of the consumer in a precise context. It is mostly used to non-market environmental benefits and costs. In addition this is considered as the most suitable method for estimating buyers’ inclination to pay for quality improvements in several dimensions.
Whereas in maximum difference scaling, respondents are presented a set of the possible items and are asked to indicate the best and worst items from the slot. Such ratings are relatively easy to follow. The data from such ratings indicates extreme choices either too good or too bad on the part of the respondents. However, it is liked by users as this is the way humans tend to think about products or services available to them. It is important to bear in mind that as per a study led by Oracle, 48% of customers conceded they use their mobile devices to look up product ratings or to find promotions. This gives more reason to brands to include this feature in their site and make it useful for users.
To sum it up
As predicted by ABI research, mobile shopping will account for $163 billion in sales worldwide, 12% of global ecommerce turnover, by 2015. E-commerce will give its users, a better chance to voice out their opinions and preferences. Thus e-commerce sites must make their category and product pages more alive by including reviews and ratings techniques for measurable results. Brands can combine ratings and reviews in a more logical format to make it more engaging for its new and potential visitors. Therefore, brands must make their website an inviting and interactive placing such user friendly tools.