What Are Shoppers Searching for When Browsing Online Reviews

Think about the last time you provided someone you care about with advice. Finding reliable customer ratings and reviews can have the same effect on shoppers as a good friend talking you out of a decision you may later come to regret. By receiving a detailed account of the experience of a fellow shopper, you have the benefit of learning things you may not have known about a product or retailer, without feeling confused or disappointed when your expectations weren’t met. Ensuring reviews provide the information shoppers are hoping to find can be a challenge for retailers, especially if they’re new to collecting reviews.  

Keep reading for insights that provide retailers with a better idea of how customers use ratings and reviews to aid them in their buying journey. 

Recently Posted Reviews 

One of the most overlooked aspects of rating and review collection is ensuring reviews are relevant to shoppers by eliminating reviews that are outdated. 80% of consumers cite review recency as one of the most important details about ratings and reviews along with overall star rating and apparent legitimacy. When retailers don’t make an effort to ensure that reviews are kept up to date, it’s harder for consumers to get an understanding of any potential updates or improvements to the shopping experience that may have had a positive impact on other customers.  

When shopping online, have you ever seen a number of reviews spanning a long period of time? If so, you may come to realize the experience of shoppers may have changed in various ways over that time frame. By making a concentrated effort on review collection, it’s easier for retailers to paint an accurate picture of the steps they’ve taken to optimize the shopping experience. On the other hand, questions for customers may arise once they notice a lack of reviews that are recent. Providing transparency at every turn is key to developing trust with new shoppers. 

Full Transparency About the Shopping Experience

One of the worst feelings as a consumer is feeling you were taken advantage of or scammed. Honest, real customer feedback is a key resource for providing customers with the transparency that helps build trust. For retailers, one of the reasons for concern about collecting ratings and reviews are the dreaded one-star reviews that send customers running for the hills. Retailers who fear negative reviews should know negative reviews are actually capable of increasing conversion rates by up to 85%. Additionally, negative reviews have the capability of keeping shoppers on a retailer’s website more than five times as long on a website when they’re able to read negative reviews.  

Although the fear of collecting an overwhelming amount of negative reviews is completely justified, not so nice reviews can have a positive impact on the journey of future shoppers. Studies show that a lack of negative reviews can lead to a lack of faith that a retailer’s reviews are authentic. Retailers who capitalize on negative feedback from customers by engaging with them to find areas of improvement are more likely to experience repeat shoppers along the way to earning the trust of new customers. 

How Retailers Rectify Customer Complaints

Even though most retailers strive for perfection with each transaction, everybody makes mistakes. How retailers choose to go about correcting those mistakes could weigh heavily in a shopper’s decision-making process. Imagine while shopping online seeing a retailer make a genuine attempt to empathize with a customer and expressing a willingness to go the extra mile to correct their shortcomings. It’s likely you’d prefer to shop with that retailer versus one who chooses to simply ignore their negative reviews.  

Taking that into consideration, ratings and reviews provide a great opportunity for retailers to showcase the effort they put into providing exceptional customer service. By taking advantage of resources like photo and video reviews, question & answers, along with star ratings, retailers gain insights from different customers each hoping to communicate about unique aspects of their shopping experience. Not only does this help personalize a customer’s shopping experience, it helps educate future shoppers in ways marketing materials often can’t. The more content from customers retailers can collect, the easier it becomes for them to earn trust. 

High Review Volume and Variance

While shopping online, have you ever seen an item in a store that hits on all cylinders? It’s exactly what you’ve been searching for, and the price is perfect, so all you need now is to see a few reviews from some fellow shoppers who were happy with their purchase in order to add it to your cart, pay and wait for arrival. The only problem is, after scrolling and searching there’s only a few vague, poorly worded reviews from several months ago that leave you with more questions than answers. Suddenly you don’t feel as confident making the purchase as you did a few moments ago. When deciding how important review volume is, retailers should remember that on average, customers need to see at least four reviews before moving forward with a purchase.  

Retailers benefit from knowing that more than half of all consumers trust user-generated content more than content created from brands. Leveraging customer photos, videos and stories of successful shopping experiences helps build customer trust in a creative, authentic fashion. Reaping the rewards of a steady stream of customer content starts with choosing a ratings and review platform capable of providing retailers with content that resonates with customers. To find out more about the impact ratings and reviews can have on building and keeping long-term customer relationships, schedule a demo with an expert today. 

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