The Internet has brought customer buying habits to a different level. Most customers today research on the Internet before making any buying decision. Customers get information about a product or service from the sellers’ website and from customer reviews and feedback.
Product reviews are not only beneficial to customers. They are beneficial as well to business owners.
If you are a business owner, you will surely appreciate the benefits of product reviews for your business. Both positive and negative product reviews will benefit your business (online and offline) if you know how to make them work to your advantage.
If you are a business owner, here are some of the benefits of product reviews:
1. Free Advertising and Promotion
Every product review definitely mentions the name of the product and sometimes also of the company. This will increase customer awareness off your product.
The kind of mass exposure your product will get out of product reviews may take the place of a paid advertisement which your business still may not be able to afford.
2. Increase Sales and Conversions
Most customers today are always hungry for information about a product before they make the decision to buy. Product reviews, especially the positive ones are mostly likely to convert into a sale.
3. Develop a Close Relationship with Customers
Online Review Sites or your website itself provide you with a venue to read and reply to both positive and negative customer reviews of your product/s. This business strategy will help you relay to your customers that you are interested in what they have to say.
A lot of customers like the fact that they know the person behind the business and in turn become loyal customers. This also helps the business gain customer trust and confidence.
4. Reviews Reduce Product Returns
Business owners as much as possible want to keep their return rates low. There are some product details though such as fit and sizes that cannot be controlled when sold online. This is often the case with apparels and shoes. Most reviews of apparel products (and shoes) often talk about sizes.
A product review which says that a shirt runs a size smaller will give the potential customer an idea that she needs to pick a size bigger than what she normally wears. When she gets the shirt, it fits perfectly and has avoided a return.
5. Venue for Suggestions and Criticisms
Many product reviews focus on suggestions and criticisms. Customers who have complaints about a product will still tell other people about it even if they do not post a product review. Product reviews allow you to reply to a customer’s complain if you feel there is a need to resolve an issue.
A lot of customers too, have a lot of suggestions on how to improve a product, other products you can offer or on how for example to improve your check out procedure. If your online store sells the best yoga mat bags, some of your customers may suggest that you sell some yoga accessories, too.
Product reviews can give you free information on some of the greatest business ideas. A product review, in this case is similar to suggestions boxes of brick and mortar stores.
6. Product Review Recommend Your Business
Surveys have shown that potential customers trust the recommendations of fellow customers more than the advertising content of the business. Every product review that recommends your products or business is the best form of marketing you can ever get. It is the best tool in every shopping experience.
7. Boosts SEO
The more your product/s or business is mentioned in products reviews, the easier it is for potential customers to find you in the Internet. Product reviews are actual customer experiences that will most likely use your target keywords over and over. This will give your product, business and website a higher rank in search engine sites (e.g. Google)
Many businesses spend a lot of time and money for Search Engine Optimization but product reviews come in for free.
8. Influences Offline Sales
Product reviews do not only benefit products sold online but those sold in brick and mortar stores as well. It has been part of the customer buying behavior to do some research on the Internet before buying anything from physical stores.
Businesses spend for online content to promote their product and business and they make sure that they earn for every dollar they spend. Businesses do not spend even a penny for product reviews but it can have a positive impact on their sales.
9. Creates Trust and Credibility
Gaining the trust of customers and being credible are challenges online stores have to work hard for. It can be a lot tougher today as online scams are quite rampant thus making customers more cautious.
Product reviews are one of the best ways to get the trust and confidential of first time customers.
10. Marketing Activities
Businesses can use product reviews as a collateral material to support their marketing activities. Product reviews provide the much needed content online stores need to generate leads and boost sales.
Product reviews are high quality marketing content because they have been generated from actual users. No advertising content can ever beat actual customer testimonials.
Online presence is important for any business in today’s digital world. A business’ online presence is not only dependent on what it does (website, social media posts). Product reviews play a huge role in a business’s online presence.
Product reviews posted in your website and especially those posted in such online review sites as Goggle+, Yelp and Angie’s List are extremely powerful in boosting the image and credibility of your business. Customers always only deal with credible and trustworthy online stores.
The most important to note that most (if not all) online customers consult product reviews before making the decision to buy a product online or in some cases even from brick and mortar stores. As an online business, you can never ignore the benefits of product reviews for your business.