Why Google and Amazon Ratings and Reviews Matter to Your Ecommerce Business
Sep 16 2022
Brands put countless marketing dollars toward introducing their products to new audiences through strategic targeting and other means. But for users, purchasing an item from an unknown source is often a simple matter of checking reviews or seller ratings to gauge the legitimacy of your business.
Data shows that 84% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 91% of potential customers occasionally or regularly read between 1-6 online reviews before completing a purchase. Despite all the work marketers put into meeting audiences where they are, employing smart targeting techniques, and streamlining the checkout process for a good user experience, a brand is still often what user reviews say about it.
Here’s more on why Google and Amazon ratings and reviews matter to every ecommerce business:
Ratings and Reviews Affect the Buyer Journey
There’s a reason Amazon puts user ratings and reviews above the product details on every page — customers new to your brand want to know if you’re a reliable operation and if your products will do what they claim. In fact, studies show for every increase in your Amazon star rating by 1, your brand will enjoy a 4-5% increase in conversion rate. That means the difference between a 3-star average rating and a max 5-star rating equates to an estimated 12-15% difference in overall sales.
The buyer journey regularly includes at least a glance at user reviews to ensure companies are legitimate, and to check for any potential issues with timely shipping or other potential hangups. That’s why more businesses are making a habit of asking every customer for a quick review — even if it’s likely to be a negative one.
COVID-19 Altered Product Ratings and Reviews
You’d be hard-pressed to find any aspect of ecommerce left untouched by COVID-19’s global impact. Everything from supply chain management to customer needs and priorities when browsing products experienced a fundamental shift over the past two years, including how users treat ratings and reviews. In the pandemic’s earliest months, review interaction spiked 89% compared to pre-pandemic levels before stabilizing to the near-50% increase businesses are still seeing today.
This new normal of more abundant product reviews illustrates both a desire for greater reliability in ecommerce brands on the part of customers and a massive opportunity to quickly establish a positive reputation for those businesses willing to pay attention to their early reviews.
Ratings and Reviews Provide Universal Value
No matter which combination of platforms and campaign levers you utilize to push out branded content, reviews serve as a universal performance booster. The social affirmation users gain from even a handful of reviews is shown to improve Facebook CTRs and conversion rates, enhance Google AdWords performance, and even bolster your SEO ranking.
Ratings and reviews effectively communicate the value of your products from an objective third party, making the drive for great customer experiences and feedback one of the most popular marketing trends of the mid- and post-COVID era.
Why Encouraging Feedback Aids Your Brand (Even If It’s Negative)
You’ve likely purchased a product yourself with an in-box insert, follow-up email, or advertised incentive encouraging customer reviews post-conversion. This amplifies your brand messaging in a few ways: first, it combats the tendency to only collect reviews from upset customers who ran into problems with their purchases.
Once your operation grows large enough, the odd shipping mishap or broken product is inevitably going to push a disappointed user to your review page. Fortunately, even poor reviews can be used to your business’ benefit — these tend to be the reviews most new customers gravitate toward, and addressing these issues head-on or even lending other customers insight into what a product does and does not accomplish can actually improve overall customer satisfaction.
Second, inspiring customer feedback allows your business to better hone in on the needs and priorities of your most valuable audience. Quality feedback from audiences that ultimately converted to your website provides a wealth of insight into how better to leverage your products for future customers. Data-driven marketing decisions based on what pleased previous customers will aid in virtually every aspect of your marketing strategy.
Reviews and ratings can initially seem like a fickle way for users to decide their brand loyalties, but focusing on your business’s digital reputation and leveraging its successes based on previous positive interactions presents a major opportunity for your organization.
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