Three ways to use product reviews to increase online sales

Learn from the shoppers voice Fundamental

Learn from the shoppers voice is one out The 8 Fundamentals gives you direct access to what your shoppers are saying about your products so you can give back to them exactly what they want... 

The rise of social tools and Omnichannel has given way for shoppers to voice their experiences with both advantageous and detrimental results for the brand. As a brand, you’re not just selling a product per se, you’re selling an experience which your customers should hopefully gain when they use your product. In this respect, product reviews have become an integral part of gaining insight into a customer's experience with consumer research indicating that 72% of shoppers only take action after having read positive feedback.

However, it can be challenging to get the most out of qualitative data due to scepticism around how to effectively use and implement it in eCommerce strategies. To highlight just how powerful reviews can be and to inspire your own approach, we’ve pulled three tried and tested examples from large, well known organisations with regards to how they used reviews to yield higher engagement and conversion across different categories.

1. Leading hot drinks manufacturer wins in search

Reviews are the optimum place to familiarise yourself with your shopper’s language. When you discover which keywords are being repeated in your product reviews, you’ll also find that those are the same keywords your shopper is using to search for your product. That’s the language of your customer which you should put back into your content & product marketing, a tactic all too familiar to digital marketers when it comes to executing SEO. A leading hot drinks manufacturer was failing in search for a key product line versus their competition. After working with them to analyse their search terms, we discovered that the most commonly used shopper search term wasn’t included in any of their content. By altering the name and readjusting the vocabulary in their descriptions to reflect this insight, their search results boosted week on week by 50%. Knowing what keywords resonate with your audience should be a high priority for eCommerce teams; customer reviews can help you incorporate them strategically within content to help you win in search.

2. Renowned pet food manufacturer assess new product launch

Harvard Business Review found that 75% of new product launches failed due to consumer shopping habits, not (just) due to poor execution. This highlighted how optimising your product for the digital shelf is only half the work, measuring whether that optimisation is actually resonating with your audience is the other half. However, this is often overlooked and subsequently leads to undesirable consequences. A recent example being when a well known global pet food manufacturer, who has often been a leader in their category, changed the formulae of one of their products. Unfortunately, this new launch didn’t secure the traction or sales that the Sales and Marketing teams had forecasted. The teams assessed their usual touch points in attempt to identify the problem; they checked their messaging, marketing and brand positioning, they were even advertised on the first page of search results. The very last place they looked into were their product reviews and it is here they found that their customers weren’t having any success with getting their pets to consume the new product. Reviews give feedback on how your customer is experiencing what you’re selling and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your products could take up most of the aisle in-store and most of the space on the first page se of search results, but if it turns out that your market isn’t responding due to the product itself, then seamless online execution alone won't give you the uplift you’re hoping for.

3. Online coffee service increases its conversion

The mark of a brand with integrity is when the product standard descriptions and specifications are consistent across multiple retailers’. However, this can also end up stagnating your pages and making your products less competitive in search as time goes one. You can overcome this by securing fresh new reviews to help differentiate your product page in search results. In attempt to leverage this insight, American based online coffee service, Coffee For Less, implemented a strategy that involved providing new features on their website to make it easier for users to read and share comments. Over the course of three years, the site secured 6,000 reviews which provided a 10% lift in organic search traffic and 125% higher conversion rate for visitors who interacted with them. You may not be thinking to go as extreme as Coffee For Less did, but their online marketing strategy reinforced that if you use your customer’s feedback strategically across different touch points, it will give you a higher chance of increasing conversion.

In conclusion

Highlighting reviews in your customer’s journeys signals to shoppers that you’re acknowledging their feedback and builds brand loyalty. However, with there being an increasing amount of data available in eCommerce, the last thing any Sales & Marketing team want is another laborious data source which requires you to go through everything to find an actionable insight, sku by sku, line by line. With this approach uptake will be slow and limited to specialists.

Learn from the shoppers voice is one of The 8 Fundamentals which aggregates and lists reviews from all retailers, across all products within your chosen category all in one place. If you’d like to learn more about how you can use this function to accelerate your online growth, get in touch below.

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