Reviews: the good, the bad, the profitable

According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations above all other forms of advertising. Many marketers see positive reviews as a magic wand able to add some shining and glamour to even a poor-quality product. On the other hand negative reviews are perceived as ugly enemies trying to dent the image of the Magento store. But what is the real marketing effect from reviews? Check surprising facts and some tips on handling reviews in our article.

Why do people read reviews? The answer may seem quite easy: people read reviews just to find out the information and personal experience from a real buyer, something beyond manufacturer’s advertisement. And they would like to make sure they won’t fall prey to poor quality or dealing with unfriendly customer service if they buy an item.

Why do merchants leave a place for reviews on their website? Because they have a possibility to hide negative reviews, ha-ha. After all, nothing comes better than a bunch of positive reviews. It’s like you see real people telling you what they like about a particular item you’d fancy to purchase. The way how reviews impact your brand creates an invaluable source for influencing the buying decision.

The good reviews

According to Bazaarvoice Conversation Index, 7 out of 10 adult consumers in the US and UK read reviews before making purchase decisions. And when one starts talking about the reviews the main question that arouses is whether the presence of negative reviews ruins the whole impression. The quick answer is “Absolutely”. But did you know that all-positive reviews are also no good? Keeping your store safe and sound, with only 5 out of 5 stars reviews is not always a good choice.

The recent studies led by Prom, an Ukranian Internet marketplace, show that customers are quite suspicious of stores like these. The thing is that people’s mind ignores the totally positive picture of a thing or notion. Check the graphic below on how positive reviews affect buying decision in case you missed our infographics. As you see, 100% of positive reviews show a significant drop in the amount of purchases.

Magento positive reviews statistics

Well, like they say, there are always black and white stripes in life, so be realistic: no-one will believe you if you say you’re the best from the best (even if you are). Moreover, if the store site contains only positive feedback on products, visitors will doubt their authenticity.

The bad reviews

But what about the bad reviews? Aren’t they profit-killers that discourage your customers from making a purchase? In fact the situation is that they may even increase the number of orders per month and affect store traffic. Check the results of Prom Research, which show that even negative reviews have a positive impact on the profitability of your store.

Magento negative reviews statistics

Just be honest with customers: if you leave negative feedback without attention, it will affect your sales. But if you respond in a timely manner, you’ll gain customers’ respect.  For instance, the probability of purchase in such stores is twice higher than in stores where such comments are ignored.

Negative reviews can even help your business. They help you to correct something hidden from your eye as the view from the other side always counts. It also lends legitimacy to your company that the feedbacks include both positive and negative reviews.

The profitable reviews

So let’s finally get down to the question you are reading this article for: how to make reviews profitable? Good news is that merchants can turn negative reviews into profitable results, says Bazaarvoice in the latest edition of its Conversation Index. 7 in 10 survey respondents indicated that a brand or merchant’s response to an online consumer review changes their perception of a brand, most commonly by making them feel that the brand really cares about customers (41%), that it has great customer service (35%), and that it is trustworthy (22%). Besides, Bazaarvoice shares some great data on what results your Magento store might achieve if it deals with negative reviews properly.

How reviews drive intent to purchase infographics

So if you also want to join the army of those Magento shop owners, who make lemonade from whatever they get, follow this checklist we made up for you basing on our own experience.

How to make reviews profitable

  1. Instead of deleting negative reviews respond to the case and try to solve the problem.
  2. Offer exchange, upgrade or refund to those, who left negative reviews in order to increase product sentiment and intent for future purchase.
  3. Place reviews in the sidebar, so that customers could easily find the reviews.
  4. Encourage your customers to submit their reviews. Make the process of invitation easy and fun for them by offering loyalty points or coupon codes.
  5. Suggest an option of Facebook reviews. These reviews are impossible to moderate, so they will gain more trust from the customers.
  6. Use negative reviews to figure out the opportunities of changing the product for the better.
  7. Provide an option of leaving a 5-star rating for the product. With the help of Google Rich Snippets extension you will be able to show this rating in the search results and attract more relevant traffic.
  8. Automate review reminders to save time and effort.