A survey out last week by Ciao – the shopping comparison website – highlights the huge importance of good reviews for anyone selling online. The detail shows that 76% of people shopping online trust customer reviews rather than recommendations by either sales assistants or even friends.
The idea that users trust the shopping opinion of complete strangers over friends might come as a surprise to some, until you consider that the website carrying out the survey- ciao.co.uk – is a reviews based website…
All cynicism aside, its long been known that customer reviews can drive online sales conversions, and we recently encouraged everyone building a website to make use of customer reviews websites.
The survey of 1,223 people indicated that users tend to turn to review websites before deciding what product to buy, and where to buy it.
The typical format of reviews websites allow people to read the opinions of others who have already bought the product, or shopped from that etailer.
Interestingly, just 2% of shoppers thought that sales people influenced their purchases. A further 19% took sales advice from friends.
So the most important thing to take from this is that if you’re building a website you need to make the most of any customer reviews or feedback you might get.
If you interact with people on your website, ask them for feedback from their experience. If you get positive feedback then ask the person if you can use that feedback.
You can use that feedback in two ways. First, if you have products or services on your website then include a link beside that product to ‘customer reviews’ to allow your website visitors to quickly gain feedback from others, Always try and use real names and locations to make the reviews as authentic as possible.
Second, if you get some glowing testimonials, then ask that user if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review at a reviews website.
Here’s a list of the top reviews websites:
Of course, getting good reviews is only half the story, of which the other half is avoiding bad reviews. Getting customers to recommend you is the holy grail of successful marketing. There’s an old advertising belief that a customer with a something good to say about your product talks to 8 people about it; and that someone with something bad to say does so to 20 others. So the most important thing is to make sure the customer has a good time in the first place!
Have you had a positive and successful experience with customer feedback? Or have you had someone bad mouthing you or your website? Leave us a comment below.