Why Fashion Brands Should Take a Long-Term View of Customer Reviews – Sourcing Journal

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant growth in e-commerce over the past two years. But stores and brands may not realize the importance of online reviews to increase visibility, improve products and drive sales.

“It’s going to be very difficult to rank higher than your competitors if you don’t have reviews,” says Dhiraj Nallapaneni, product marketing writer at Birdeye, a review management software company. “Just to emphasize this point, 92% of customers check online reviews before making a purchase decision. It’s going to be difficult – or harder than necessary – to attract new customers to your business without reviews. So the question becomes how do you get new reviews? »

Birdeye’s ‘2021 State of Online Reviews’ report reveals that 67% of all reviews are written on Google, 45% of review requests were sent via text message, and retail businesses sent more review requests than any other sector in 2020.

But having opinions is not enough. PowerReviews, a software company that manages reviews and reviews, reports that 97% of consumers consider the recency of reviews to be at least somewhat important when considering a purchase. Nearly half (44%) want to see reviews written in the last month.

“Brands and retailers often make the mistake of thinking that review recency isn’t as important as review volume,” says Andrew Smith, vice president of marketing for PowerReviews. “Based on the results of our investigation, this is clearly not the case. The recency factor is just as important for consumers. Essentially, collecting reviews is not a “one-and-done” activity; it is something that must be an ongoing effort. And of course, if a brand or retailer collects a steady stream of review content, the overall volume continues to pay conversion dividends.

According to the 2020 Cotton Incorporated, nearly two-thirds of consumers (64%) say product reviews are influential when buying clothes online. lifestyle monitor Investigation. Of consumers who use reviews, nearly 9 in 10 (87%) say they read customer reviews when considering a particular product, and 74% read them when they’ve decided what to buy but want to know. ensure this is the case. the right choice, according to Cotton Incorporated’s 2020 Customer Feedback Survey (February 5, 2020).

Apparel shoppers, 71% of whom read customer reviews when looking to buy clothes online, are looking for specific information when looking at reviews, according to Monitor™ search. More than 2 in 5 (42%) check customer reviews to assess the size and fit of a garment.

Of consumers who write reviews, 21% wrote their most recent review because they value reviews and want to help others when shopping, according to the 2020 Customer Feedback Survey. 21% wanted to share a positive experience with others, 14% wanted to share specific product information such as sizing and care, and 13% wanted to warn others about a negative experience.

Trustpilot, an online review platform, gave a webinar titled Bad Reviews Happen, and says how they are handled makes all the difference.

“More than a third of consumers expect a response to their bad reviews,” says Theo Robson, business development manager at Trustpilot. “When people leave comments, they’re not just ranting online about their bad experience. They’re leaving that door open and want you to respond, engage, and start a dialogue with them. They hope you will listen to them, help them and learn from them.

Customers notice when brands fail to address consumer concerns. In fact, the majority of clothing shoppers (84%) say that if they read multiple negative reviews citing the same issue, they wouldn’t buy the product, even if they really wanted to buy it, according to the survey. 2020 on customer feedback. They would also be deterred from buying if they read multiple negative reviews, each citing a separate issue (50%).

But there is hope for companies that receive negative reviews. According to Trustpilot, 64% of consumers would rather buy from a company that reacts to negative reviews than one that seems perfect.

“Consumers are actually three times more likely to buy from a company that made a mistake – if they respond quickly to their review and try to rectify the error,” says Robson, adding that customers don’t want no robotic response either. “It’s important to use their names and sign with yours. And if you can personalize the message further, that’s great.

Consumers also say seeing multiple reviews that look like they were computer-generated or written by bots (28%), according to the 2020 Customer Feedback Survey, would be a disappointment.

Birdeye’s Nallapaneni says that under no circumstances should retailers or brands buy reviews.

“Some people might be tempted to do this after hearing about benefits like higher search rankings,” he says. “But it’s a big risk and it will backfire. You risk being fined by the FTC. You risk getting penalized in your search rankings by Google, and probably most importantly, you risk customers’ opinions of your business. No one can sell your business like your customer and no one can truly fake that customer’s voice either. It’s not hard to tell when a review is fake, so don’t.

Instead, Nallapaneni suggests brands email and text all their customers asking them to review a product, preferably on the day of the sale when the product is fresh in their minds. The reviews can then be linked to major sites like Google and Facebook. Review software can automate this process, and Nallapaneni claims that companies that automate average an 8% increase in revenue after 6 months.

Birdeye says online review management offers stores and brands the opportunity to attract more customers, improve local search rankings, and “tell your side of the story.” Every business should monitor their online reviews closely and respond promptly to feedback, whether good or bad.

Cotton Incorporated is a global resource for all things cotton. The research and advocacy organization continues its nearly 50-year commitment to providing expertise and insight into all aspects of the global cotton supply chain: from dirt to shirt and beyond. Additional relevant information can be found at CottonLifestyleMonitor.com.

Joseph P. Harris