RSR | Future of Trust & E-commerce

How Multimedia in Customer Reviews Adds Authenticity to the Shopping Experience

It’s a tall task for retailers to ask customers to purchase an item they can’t see – especially from someone they don’t know. Online shopping scams are increasing rapidly which makes authenticity a bigger priority than ever when it comes to customers deciding they’ll buy from. Retailers who have a thorough understanding of the benefits of multimedia within customer reviews have a clear advantage over those that don’t.  

The benefits of multimedia within customer reviews are: 

Giving Retailers Added Credibility

  • With all the competition on the marketplace, there’s more incentive than ever to build trust with consumers as early in the buyer’s cycle as possible. Retailers can start on the path to building trust with new customers by allowing them to serve as a crucial component to their communications plans. The benefits to highlighting what your customers have to say are immense. They include:

  • Showing Shoppers the Content They Want to See, When They Need to See It 

    Have you ever seen a coat at a store in the mall that you weren’t sure if you liked, only to try it on, look in the mirror and come to the conclusion that it’s perfect?  

    Seeing another customer with an item they may not have been totally confident about buying themselves could be all that it takes to get them to move forward with a purchase. Studies show customers need to see at least three to four images of a photo of a product before making a decision to purchase the product online. When it comes to Millennials, they seem to be more influenced by video content. 

  • Places Customer Messaging at the Forefront of the Conversation Instead of Brand Messaging

    Even though you and your team spent countless hours fine-tuning your marketing messaging, the reality is it’s no match for what customers are telling each other about your brand. Shoppers anticipate brands saying great things about their own products and services, which is why the true test comes from examining what customers are saying. Additionally, retailers can demonstrate a customer-first approach to the shopping experience by placing the spotlight on what customers have to say.  

Allowing Customers to Openly Communicate With Each Other About Their Shopping Experience

Your biggest advocates are customers who love what you have to offer. Why not allow them to sing your praises? Aside from making your marketing and promotion initiatives that much easier, customers also know more about your products than you may realize. 

This idea takes center-stage when retailers make a ratings and reviews platform where customers can ask questions and see answers from verified customers, a part of their plans. 

  • Leverage Customer Insight 

    One of the major benefits of maintaining an omni-channel approach to customer communications is the ability for customers to learn whatever is necessary for them to make informed purchases. Let’s say you’re shopping online for a new bedroom set, but you need specific details about whether or not you can manage the install yourself.

    The odds of the manufacturer being able to provide you with the details you need are slim-to-none.  Luckily, after seemingly endless amounts of scrolling, you find a customer review with before and after photos. You now have pictures of the tools provided, the instructions and materials right out of the box, alongside photos of the finished product. 

    At this point you have all the information you need and then some to make the decision to move forward with your purchase.  

  • Gives Retailers Insight into Customer Pain Points 

    Let’s stick with our example from above. Suppose you move forward with the purchase, and the bedroom set gets delivered onto your doorstep. Unfortunately, you then find that multiple items in your order were a different color than you anticipated. 

    Obviously less than thrilled with the experience, you decide to share a photo in your product review which goes onto the retailer’s website. To your surprise, the retailer goes through the appropriate channels and chooses to send you a replacement free of charge. By inviting customers to provide multimedia in review content, retailers can address and fix customer complaints. 

    This practice tends to leave a long-term positive impact on the relationship customers have with retailers. By supplying your shoppers with an open line of communication, retailers display transparency that becomes a differentiating factor in choosing one brand over another.  

Helping Spark an Emotional Connection to New Customers

Doubt, confusion, and disappointment are just a few examples of the emotions a shopper may feel upon landing on your product page and not being greeted with images of what they’re searching for. On the other hand, delight, excitement and motivation are what customers may feel upon seeing images of happy customers displaying exactly what they’ve been shopping for.  
No matter how much research goes into buying a new product, human beings are emotional creatures and tend to make decisions based on feeling instead of logic. Some examples of how retailers can benefit from this are:

  • Eliminating the Fear of Buyer’s Remorse

    Not a lot frustrates both customers and retailers, more than having to return products. By emphasizing the collection of user generated content, retailers are much more likely to reduce their return rates. Studies show photos are a main factor when it comes to influencing consumer decisions, so why not leverage them to solve one of your biggest problems? Positive customer reviews are known not only for decreasing return rates, but also increasing the likelihood of customers making repeat purchases too.  

  • Creating the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

    By emphasizing multimedia, retailers can capitalize on people’s natural fear of missing out on an experience or product. Let’s say you have a brand-new product that customers can’t get enough of. Encouraging them to leave photo product reviews upon receiving their order allows you to create enough urgency in new shoppers to get them to act.

    Whether it’s out of fear of supplies running out, or of missing a gift-giving opportunity, FOMO can play a big role in customer decision making. Shoppers empathize not with brands, but with other customers. No matter what goes into your marketing efforts, there’s no replacing the voice of the customer itself, which is why a ratings and review platform can serve as a main tool for sparking an emotional connection with them. 

Relying on a Ratings and Reviews Platform as a Multimedia Solution

A robust ratings and reviews platform capable of text, photo and video collection allows for retailers to gain an improved perspective on what they have to offer from the eyes of the customer. Even better, it provides customers with the type of content that makes their decision-making process easier while increasing the likelihood of them making future purchases from the retailer. The importance multimedia plays for consumers can’t be overstated. 

The right ratings and review platform can help to ease the burdens of sales, customer experience and marketing for retailers. Schedule a demo with one of our representatives today for more insight on why a ratings and reviews platform is a must-have for retailers aiming to maximize their relationships with customers.

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