Conventional wisdom dictates that sellers should put their best foot forward when introducing products to the market. Every message is tightly controlled down to the last word. Every image is carefully curated. This was especially true in the early days of e-commerce. After all, online sellers had to bridge a huge gap between seeing an item in real life and staring at it on the screen. Yet it soon became obvious that a more transparent approach could be even more effective. Reviews are wildly popular with most potential buyers reading or watching some before they take the plunge. There are several reasons for this.
More Trusted Than Manufacturer Descriptions
Reviews enjoy a higher trust rating compared to the manufacturer’s original descriptions of their products. The latter presents the ideal while the former state the actual. Readers want to know how the items fare in real life when they are subjected to imperfect conditions. Will they still be able to perform as well as described? Are they going to last as long as was promised? Are the materials and the workmanship of good quality? Is there anything that buyers should watch out for? Bad reviews aren’t necessarily bad for business. Those that point out flaws is much more convincing than those that praise to high heavens. Too many bad reviews can hurt but a few critical ones can be beneficial.
Increase in Consumer Engagement
Another great thing about reviews is that they are able to increase consumer engagement. People find them a lot more interesting compared to the descriptions which are uniform across the board. They go from one site to another just to see what others say about the products which are on their wish lists. Some sites have even added a section where interested parties can ask relevant questions and anyone can answer based on their experience with the item. Instead of holding off purchases because of doubts and fears, they can push through thanks to all the answers.
Boost in Conversion Rates
Indeed, the best reviews are known to generate increased conversion rates. Both the quality and quantity of the posts matter. It helps when the most helpful ones get floated up the top as shoppers can see them right away. They can read all about the important aspects of the product in terms of real world performance. If they are satisfied with what they learn, then they are more likely to whip out the card and commit to their order. It is truly in the best interest of sellers to allow and even encourage the public to post their feedback.
Valuable Content for Search Spiders
Sellers can also benefit indirectly from these reviews. Every new post is fresh content, after all, and these will provide search engines with a reason to send back their spiders for indexing. This type of content is extremely valuable and yet it is freely given by the public. People want their voices to be heard by others. They want their experiences to serve as a guide to fellow shoppers just as they have been greatly aided by reviews in the past. Sometimes it could be a way to vent their frustrations. Others have made it a hobby to share their insights after every purchase.
Higher Result Rankings for Review Queries
There are billions of search queries per day. Millions of these can be attributed to people researching for their projected purchases. For instance, those who are eyeing a new phone may look up reviews of several models to get a feel for their performance, battery life, design, camera, and so on. Those who are thinking of eating out may look at reviews of restaurants in their area. Individuals planning a vacation might check out the different hotels that they can call home. They usually phrase their queries by stating the product name or establishment and adding the word review at the end. Getting found means another opportunity to sell.
The best reviews aren’t necessarily the glowing ones that celebrate products and see no fault. Buyers are too savvy to fall for these. They know that everything has a flaw and they want to know what it is. Then they can decide whether the risk is still worth taking or not. If the good ones outnumber the bad by a wide margin, then there’s a big chance that they will go for it.