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Modern digital technology has forever changed the way business is conducted. Almost all industries have seen significant changes, not least the world of retail. Ecommerce now accounts for a large portion of the overall retail industry, and the sector is only expected to grow.
An increasing number of people are choosing to run ecommerce businesses of their own. These can be set up with relative ease and require little in terms of overheads or initial financial outlay. What’s more, online retail businesses can grow and expand at a rapid rate, making them an attractive choice for ambitious entrepreneurs. If you’re looking for tips to scale your ecommerce business, focusing on customer reviews should be your number one priority. Let’s find out more.
How Do Online Reviews Work?
In days gone by, product reviews were spread by word of mouth, or printed in specialized magazines and literature. This meant that not everyone had access to reviews, and a significant portion of customers were buying products without having read any reviews beforehand.
This couldn’t be more different in today’s digital world. Reviews are now an integral part of the buyer journey and are highly influential in a consumer’s decision to make a purchase. After buying a product on an ecommerce platform like Amazon, customers will be encouraged to leave a review of the item. This could be in the form of a simple star rating of between one and five, or it could be a more detailed and descriptive review that goes over how the product performs.
After leaving a review, the details of it will be displayed on that item’s product page, alongside any other reviews previously left by customers. The star rating will feed into the product’s overall rating, which will be displayed alongside it both on the product page and in search engine results.
How Important are Reviews?
It’s impossible to overstate how important reviews are in the modern digital retail industry. Buyers will look to them before making a decision about whether or not to purchase a product, and they can be the ultimate determining factor in the buyer journey.
If a product has lots of positive reviews, customers will feel assured that the product is safe, reliable, and of high quality. On the other hand, bad reviews can lead a customer to perceive a product as poor quality, unreliable, or even dangerous.
Reviews can make or break your product. Even one or two bad reviews is enough to discourage customers from making a purchase, so it is vital that you ensure you are getting as many positive reviews as possible. A sure-shot way to highlight positive customer reviews and boost your sales is to embed a customer review widget on the website. This not only helps in building social proof but also has a great first impression on the website visitors.
How to Encourage Good Reviews
Good reviews are incredibly important for online businesses, so you should attempt to encourage them whenever possible. The most obvious way to encourage good reviews is to ensure the products you sell are of the highest possible quality. Make sure they are made of good materials and that all products function as described.
Quality control is vital, you should strive to check over all the products you sell before shipping them out to customers. If you are selling large quantities on a daily basis, effective quality control could prove logistically difficult. However, the repercussions of selling a sub-par product and receiving a bad review can be extremely damaging, so you should be implementing a stringent quality control policy as best you can.
Customer service is important too. Your products could be of the highest possible quality, but if your delivery is longer than stated this could result in a bad review. Delivery is somewhat out of your hands so this can pose a real risk when trying to avoid negative reviews. Your best bet is to only use reliable, reputable couriers to deliver your products. if a product is delivered late or to the wrong address, rectify the issue as soon as possible to avoid the backlash harming your business.
What If You Get a Bad Review?
If an item slips past your quality control or a delivery is missed, you might find yourself on the receiving end of a bad review. In a situation like this, it’s vital that you don’t panic. It can be incredibly deflating to receive a bad review, it can make you question your abilities as a business owner and can leave you feeling dejected.
However, there are a few ways you can deal with a bad review and mitigate the damage it can cause. Reach out to the customer as soon as possible and establish a dialogue. Find out what has caused them to leave their review, apologize and then take steps to address the issue. Issuing a replacement or a refund can actually boost your brand’s image. It will show customers that you value their business and that you appreciate them even if they are unhappy with the service they have received.
Reviews are an integral part of modern online business. You should encourage good reviews of your business at all times, they can lead to increased traffic and higher sales and are key in a business’s progression and growth.
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