Why are customer ratings & reviews important?
Updated 21st July 2017:
- Research suggests that Word of mouth (WoM) is the main driver for between 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
- 87% of people trust online reviews when it comes to deciding which local service they will use.
- 92% of internet users read online reviews for local businesses.
- Customer review software improves your visibility in search engines and social media and increase click-through rates.
Online WoM or user generated content can be a powerful influence on visitor behaviour. Due to our social nature people are heavily influenced by the behaviour and opinions of others. This is why indicators of social proof, such as testimonials or product ratings, can be so persuasive on websites.
Proxy for trust and credibility:
People use social proof as an indication of how trustworthy a website or app might be. If a site appears popular and has good reviews it provides reassurance to visitors that it is likely to be a genuine site.
People also know that a site with a good reputation is less likely to sell faulty or sub-standard goods or services because they might damage their brand reputation if they did so. Social proof is especially influential when we are faced with uncertainty, such as when buying something for the first time. This is why displaying ratings and reviews for products or services can be so powerful.
A large number of ratings can help build trust and credibility of your site and provides guidance for customers on which products people are most satisfied with. This helps to reduce anxiety about your site and the products you sell.
Customer ratings & review software:
Here are ten of the most popular e-commerce customer rating and review software platforms to help build trust and credibility on your site.
My personal recommendation is Trustist Reviewer as this is an innovative, but competitively priced solution which has been developed by people who have previously worked in e-commerce.
E-Commerce Customer Review Software:
1. TRUSTist REVIEWer: – Recommended!
A new but innovative approach to ratings and reviews. TRUSTist will set up and aggregate existing reviews and customer testimonials from the web and social media to immediately get stars in your search results. The simple copy and paste code snippet integration means that all maintenance, including making changes to respond to policy updates from Google, is handled by TRUSTist.
You will also get stars in your natural search results for your website (not on their site). This will generate more traffic and higher click through rate. TRUSTist will provide you with a platform to collect on-going reviews using email and your websites. This helps keep the content current and will provide SEO benefits.
No costs are shown on the site, but I understand they are highly competitive and it is well worth getting a quote for comparison purposes. It is ideal for large and small e-commerce retailers.
Offers a suite of applications via a cloud based user generated content engine that helps you capture, manage and respond to customer input to grow your business. This covers 5 core products;
- Conversations encourages customers to review products, ask questions, give answers and share stories.
- Connections manages responses to shopper questions & reviews across their network of retail sites.
- Local makes authentic customer reviews available on your website and on the sites of local providers that carry your brand.
- Curations pull authentic, moderated social media content into your buying experience by displaying it on your website.
- Media engages active shoppers online and in-store via their ad targeting technology.
Bazaarvoice claim their clients see an average 65% lift in revenue per visit and 52% uplift in conversion on product pages with ratings and reviews. They also see a 98% average conversion uplift when shoppers engage in Q&A on major retail sites. Has over 3,500 clients.
A customer rating and reviews software solution that provides qualified reviews from real customers who have made a purchase from your organisation. Every review can be shared across social platforms and with the Feefo Facebook app you can automatically position reviews into the heart of your social engagement strategy.
As a Google Licensed Content Partner, Feefo submits ratings and reviews on behalf of merchants to be included in to Google’s listings. Offers a Free trial period to try out the service.
Provides a consumer engagements engine for over 1,000 brands to collect customer reviews and answer questions from consumers.
- The consumer engagement engine powers ratings and reviews and Q&A solutions that have resulted in more than 22 million reviews.
- Their syndication network distributes reviews to all major retailers and search engines.
- Measures social traffic, engagement and content generation and determine how they drive traffic, conversion and sales.
- Provides strategy, implementation, moderation and management services to ensure best practices are established.
A single platform for company, product and in-store customer ratings and reviews.
- Product and merchant reviews to increase trust online.
- Retain control of the process via real-time moderation, reply function and customisable review request emails.
- Review booster – delivers star ratings in Google by contacting previous customers to obtain a boost in the amount of reviews you collect.
- Social integration – links up to your Twitter account so that you are constantly updating fresh content. Every time you recieve a 4 or 5 star rating it will update your Twitter feed.
- Their iOS & Android app allows you to manage and receive email alerts shortly after a customers leaves a 1 or 2 star review to provide the opportunity for an immediate response.
Has over 3,000 customers using their platform.
The system is available in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. Free 30 day trial available.
TrustFreaksdata is the business solution to TrustFreaks.com which is a Swedish-based platform that allows organisations to proactively collect customer reviews. Seller reviews are also collected and moderated by TrustFreaks to ensure impartiality in maintained.
The platform allows you to instantly achieve critical mass for product reviews as TrustFreaks aggregates thousands of expert and consumer review sources and will match them to your product feed. Their question and answer feature allows site visitors to post questions and receive answers directly from your customer support team.
TrustFreaks is used by online retailers in over 30 countries.
Trustpilot is a community-driven customer review platform from Denmark, but is now established in over 60 countries, including the UK and U.S. The software allows organisations to proactively collect both product and seller reviews from customers.
In the UK the e-commerce retailer AO.com extensively uses Trustpilot reviews on its whole site, including on category and product pages. Trustpilot offer a free basic version to create a profile page and collect customer reviews. The subscription service allows you to create customisable review invitations, share content on social media and integrate the platform with your internal business systems.
Trustpilot collects 20,000 new reviews each day or over 750,000 each month. It has a total database of over 26 million reviews of 152,000 businesses and counting.
I’ve read some mixed reviews on Trustpilot if your site doesn’t have a high volume of visitors. The service costs from around £10,000 a year and so calculate your likely response rate to ensure it is value for money.
Customer review software that captures four types of user generated content; ratings and reviews, community questions & answers, visual reviews (phone-based capture) and micro-reviews at point-of-sale. The platform integrates with your business systems to deliver a personalised user experience that captures more content than most other review software on the market.
A suite of solutions including product reviews that is deeply integrated with social media which means that it is easy to share customer reviews with your business’s Facebook page and Twitter account which drives qualified traffic. The core features cover:
- Review generation – Delivers automated, fully-customisable and mobile responsive emails after purchase which includes upsells in all review request to increase lifetime value. A one-step submission process also increases the number of reviews received.
- On-site – Full customization of widgets, with all reviews labelled with a trust badge, the ability to ask buyers questions and includes in-depth information on each reviewer to help buyers qualify relevance.
- Retention – Focus on lifetime value of each customer through the use of post-purchase coupons, ability to comment on reviews and community Q&A.
- Marketing – Social integration allows you to automatically share your best reviews on Facebook and Twitter to increase their reach. Yotpo ads and email upsells leverage your reviews to bring quality traffic to your site.
- SEO – Increases your SEO visibility by showing your reviews and ratings on Google and offers the ability to display your reviews across Google Shopping and search with product listing ads.
Visitors have become accustomed to major websites such as Amazon displaying product ratings and reviews on relevant pages. This has led to a huge increase in user generated content and an expectation that genuine sites automatically display ratings and reviews to assist users.
This means that sites that fail to encourage customer ratings and reviews may be perceived to be less trustworthy. It also likely that conversion rates will not be as high on sites that fail to display customer ratings and reviews. I recommend Trustist Reviewer, but always check out other solutions to get comparative quotes.
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- About the author: Neal provides digital marketing optimisation consultancy services and has worked for brands such as Deezer.com, Foxybingo.com, Very.co.uk, partypoker.com and Bgo.com. He uses a variety of techniques, including web analytics, personas, customer journey analysis and customer feedback to improve a website’s conversion rate.
- Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website. If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, see his LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.