There is no doubt that ecommerce companies need social proof to survive. Part of that proof comes from reviews, whether right there on your site or on third-party review sites like Yelp. Getting great reviews can feel like a celebration every time, while bad reviews make you question why you ever started your ecommerce business to begin with. Before you get too bogged down in the negative, let’s examine why even the worst reviews are good news for you.
Think for a moment about the last time you saw any product or service with only good reviews listed. Did you assume right away that you’d found the best buy in the world, or did you wonder how many of those good reviews had been paid for? If you’re like most people, you jumped immediately to suspicion. You wouldn’t be alone. According to studies by Reevoo, 95% of consumers suspect faked or censored reviews when bad scores aren’t present.
Now, even one bad review makes those good reviews look a little more honest. By refusing to hide it, you give your company immediate credibility and earn more trust from possible buyers.
When you post those bad reviews to your own website, you get so much more than instant credibility. Did you know that five times more buyers look for the bad reviews than the good? They’re not trying to talk themselves out of buying; they just want to have all the information necessary before making a purchase.
What that means for you, however, is that visitors will hang out on your site a lot longer. They’re going to read those negative reviews and then they’ll visit the relevant pages on your site to continue their research.
Higher Conversion Rates
Bad reviews result in more sales. What happens when people spent more time on your website? They’re more likely to click CTAs, hand over their contact information, and study the information they receive. Those microconversions make their way to the big time, when visitors make a purchase and become a bona fide customer.
In other words, if you’re censoring your bad reviews, you’re also shutting down potential buyers.
When your buyers know the good, the bad, and the ugly about your products through the reviews they read, they’re not likely to experience any nasty surprises. In fact, if they enter the purchase with all the knowledge they need, they’re probably going to find that the bad reviews were a little too harsh. In other words, their acceptance of potential pitfalls makes them much happier in the long run when your products don’t disappoint.
Customers who are happy with their purchase are more likely to come back later. They also sometimes leave their own positive reviews that address the negative aspects of other users’ comments, which new visitors will find very helpful as they start their research. That means you don’t need to address the rough stuff unless you see an opportunity to provide better service.
Engagement with Customers
If you do receive a negative review, be careful with your next actions. As you can see, censoring is never the answer. You also don’t want to respond with your own negativity. Sometimes you can do absolutely nothing to make the situation better. In those cases, bite your tongue and move on. If you can, however, turn a bad review into a chance to serve, take that opportunity and run with it.
First, you show that you’re not afraid of the feedback, which will immediately boost your brand in buyers’ eyes. Next, you gain a chance to turn a disappointed buyer into a brand advocate. With attentive and helpful customer service after a bad review, you’ll not only change the mind of the unhappy buyer, but you might just convince some onlookers that you’re a trustworthy ecommerce business.
If you’ve ever dealt with bad reviews, we’d like to know how you handled your online presence. And if you’ve experienced any of the benefits above, we want to know that, too.
Originally published Aug 27, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017