One would have to live in a truly tucked away corner of the Earth not to be familiar with the concept of ecommerce and its effects on the global economy or to be stubborn enough to stick to the “good old ways.” Neither takes away from the fact that ecommerce is here to stay.
2016 was a turning point for ecommerce as large retailers who had more than $50 million in annual sales saw an increase from 10% to 100% in their online revenue.
That is not a surprising turn of events because smartphones changed the online shopping game considerably. Nowadays, some 33% of online shoppers use their smartphones as opposed to 31% who use their laptops and 27% who turn to their desktop computers to shop online.
However, another exciting development happened in ecommerce, and it soon became one of the crucial points driving the sales—online reviews. 45% of Americans use their mobile phones to search for online reviews of specific products or even to look for better deals.
So, what is it about the online reviews that appeal to us so much? Better yet, why do we trust perfect strangers to such a degree that we allow ourselves to be so influenced by their opinions and are willing to buy a product we have never used before?
In a nutshell, people trust other people. They trust their opinions and experiences.
The Undeniable Power of Online Reviews
Most people need about 10 reviews before they decide to buy or not to buy a particular product. Considering that the latest data indicate that more than 90% of people turn to online reviews before they decide to buy something, the power of online reviews is not to be neglected for any business, online or any other.
Even if customers are familiar with the fact that some of the posted reviews are fake, they will still turn to reviews. Predominantly, Yelp is an online review forum, and many use it for guidance during their decision-making processes.
Positive Online Reviews
Naturally, if your business receives positive online reviews, you are more likely to increase your sales as shoppers feel confident and will be more willing to spend their money. Most, if not all, online businesses encourage their customers to spend some time and leave a comment or a review describing their products and their shopping experience.
What to Learn from Bad Online Reviews
One would probably think that is one of the worst things that can happen to a business, considering the importance of online reviews. In fact, the opposite is true. It is impossible to satisfy everybody. Therefore, it is impossible for all shoppers to be happy with the product a business is selling or to be smitten by the shopping experience. Interestingly, having some bad reviews actually lends credibility to your business since having the perfect reviews makes people think all those positive reviews are fake.
Besides, clever and attentive business owners take bad reviews and turn them into a learning experience. Allowing your customers to have a voice and then working on improving potential shortcomings can only add to the overall strength of your brand. Consequently, you will also show just how important your customers are to you.
It would be careless not to pay attention to online reviews and not to encourage your customers to post them. Yet, it is equally important for online businesses to monitor those reviews and act promptly when their customers are not satisfied. Offering excellent customer support as well as a great product and learning from both good and bad online reviews, can only strengthen your business.
Salman Zafar is an acclaimed blogger, editor, publisher and digital marketer. He is the founder of Blogging Hub, a digital publishing portal with wide following across the world.