How to get – and earn more – valuable customer reviews – Sourcing Journal
How often do you search for products on Google? You’re not alone. Nearly half of all product searches start on the search engine. And the reviews attached to these products can make or break a relationship with potential or even current customers.
Birdeye, a review management and messaging platform, released a report on the importance of Google reviews which indicates that 92% of consumers read online reviews even before visiting a business.
“While all review sites are important, Google reviews have the most impact because people turn to Google more than any other search engine or review site,” the Birdeye report states. “We’ve found that businesses with a higher overall star rating see up to 35% more click-through rates. This means more traffic to your website and more attention from potential customers. »
Moz, a search engine optimization (SEO) and data management software company, says only a “tiny fraction” of customers will take the time to write a negative review, but adds that most consumers will continue to patronize a company that solves their problem. Additionally, about half of all customers will only choose businesses with a rating of four stars or better. Moz claims that an increase in star ratings and reviews “has been shown to increase leads and revenue.”
Of apparel consumers who read reviews, 87% of shoppers will read customer reviews when considering a particular product, according to Cotton Incorporated’s Customer Feedback Survey (February 2020). Another 75% will read reviews when they’ve decided to buy a product but want to “make sure it’s the right choice.” And 73% will check reviews when they’ve narrowed down their choices to a few products and want to compare.
When shopping for clothing online, 50% of consumers who read reviews say product reviews are influential, according to 2020 Cotton Incorporated lifestyle monitor™ Investigation. According to the customer feedback survey, 86% of shoppers who read reviews when buying clothes read them to learn about the quality of a garment. This is followed by consumers who want information about the fit of the clothes (82%), size (79%), value (64%), styles – does it look like the item pictured (64%), durability (62%), comfort (61%) and shipping – will it arrive on time and in good condition (38%).
Most consumers (84%) say they wouldn’t buy a garment if they read multiple negative reviews, all citing the same issue (eg fit, quality), according to the customer feedback survey. About half of all shoppers (49%) say they wouldn’t buy a product if they read multiple negative reviews, each citing a separate issue. Another 28% say they wouldn’t buy something if they noticed the average star rating was less than 4 out of 5 stars. And 28% say they wouldn’t buy something even if they really liked it if they noticed several reviews that look like they were computer generated or bot written.
To start managing Google reviews, Birdeye says brands need to claim their Google My Business profile, update their listing with accurate information and a description of their business, and add relevant Google My Business categories. After that, they can start collecting Google reviews. This can be done manually or through an automated program. Review requests can be made via text or email, included as a link in an email signature, or set up as a landing page on the company’s website.
Most consumers (66%) say that a fit/size review (such as “fits large” or “true to size”) would have “a lot of influence” on their clothing buying decision, according to the customer feedback survey. Other factors that have a lot of influence include a customer’s description of the product (46%), whether or not the customer would recommend the product (41%), ratings such as comfort and style (40%), and the average “stars”—for example, 3.5 stars out of 5 (32%).
Birdeye says brands and retailers should respond to reviews, good or bad. Responding to positive reviews can keep a customer coming back. And genuinely responding to negative reviews not only shows a brand’s concern, but also provides an opportunity to resolve a problem. Additionally, according to the company, responding quickly to a negative review could persuade the customer to edit or remove it.
“It’s a great way to build customer loyalty and resolve issues before they escalate into bigger issues,” the company says. “Plus, Google has told the world that responding to reviews has a positive impact on your SEO.”
Of course, Google isn’t the only place consumers can find product reviews. They can be found on social media pages and directly on a retailer or brand’s website.
Yotpo, an e-commerce marketing platform, says brands can drive loyalty through reviews, especially from their most loyal customers. The company’s content marketing writer, Suz Morris, says companies can increase customer lifetime value (CLTV) by rewarding their most satisfied customers and leveraging customer data such as fit, product quality and shipping from reviews.
She cites a company that rewards customers who leave great reviews on its site with tokens that can be used for discounts on future purchases.
Yotpo’s Morris also points out that brands and retailers can use reviews to build customer loyalty.
“Ultimately, as e-commerce continues to grow, brands are tasked with staying relevant and up-to-date in a fiercely competitive online landscape,” says Morris. “By leveraging existing loyalty, customer feedback, and driving brand engagement, brands can create emotional connections and maintain brand loyalty virtually.”
The Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ is an ongoing research program that measures consumer attitudes and behaviors around clothing, shopping, fashion, sustainability, and more.
For more information on the Lifestyle Monitor™ survey, please visit https://lifestylemonitor.cottoninc.com/.