February 2, 2022
Let’s face it, we humans are sceptical creatures. We hesitate to trust or vouch for anything we can’t feel or analyse ourselves. No matter how immaculate the product pictures and videos may seem on a web page, it’ll never be a substitute for being able to view the item in real life.
That is the biggest advantage physical stores have over e-commerce businesses; They provide customers with the opportunity to go hands-on with the product, allowing them to hold it in their hands before purchasing.
The digital equivalent of this would be the testimonials of another fellow customer. Just as how you would light up your store and stock your shelves as elegantly as you can, you need to leverage the power of customer reviews and positive testimonials from existing buyers to
attract new ones.
Though we tend to lean more towards professional, corporate messaging for our advertisements, an everyday-user level testimony seems to speak to potential buyers much more effectively.
We can attribute this result to the aspect of our familiarity and relatability with other individuals like ourselves over a business or group of people trying to sell you something. Think about it, if you see an unheard product from an online ad and another product being recommended to you by a friend, which would you feel comfortable buying?
There are a couple of methods employed by the leading businesses around the world to get customer feedback on new products in their store.
Now, this is a fine line that you must tread with caution. It must not come across as you trying to buy people’s opinions, or reward them for leaving positive feedback when they have no intention to do so otherwise.
Many budding stores try to do this. It is often against your e-commerce platform’s guidelines. There can be consequences in trying to influence customer reviews.
But do not let this discourage you from attempting a creative strategy to get customer feedback. You could ask them to leave honest feedback of whatever they feel and reward them with store credits in exchange.
As the name suggests, the store credit can be redeemed only in your store. This will not only give you a customer testimonial but also makes it likely for them to come back to your store as a returning buyer so that they can redeem their reward.
There’s another way if you’d like to avoid the slippery slope of offering rewards for reviews. You can contact your customers via a friendly email a few days after they make a purchase, asking them about their experience using that product.
This tactic is common and safely used by many businesses to get organic reviews for free. So you shouldn’t expect every one of your customers to revert, as they get lots of emails like this.
But for those who genuinely value after-sales support, will see this as a genuine, honest effort from you as a business owner, reaching out to ensure customer satisfaction. Doing this will also improve your brand perception as someone who cares for their customers even after they have purchased something from them.
An easy way to understand how your customer thinks is to put yourself in their shoes. You are a customer of other stores as well. Think about how you usually shop with them online.
If a product seems great with stellar pictures but has disappointing reviews from many past buyers, you would be discouraged from purchasing it.
The product may have demonstration videos showing how well it works (or is supposed to work in real life). But if that story doesn’t align with previous customer testimonies, you tend not to give your business to them.
As stated before, it can be quite challenging to evaluate a product online. So we rely on other shoppers who have already bought it before us to describe its usability in a nonmarketing centric way.
Therefore, it is crucial that once you get feedback from your first few sales, you integrate them into your marketing campaign.
Any marketing with a decent budget can get you a few sales. If your product is in a unique niche that doesn’t usually get organic sales, you could do influencer marketing via social media.
It is where you reach out to creators on social media who are relevant to your brand or product. They can help spread the word or produce a personalized review. These can easily appeal to a lot more people when compared to targeted ads.
You can easily integrate such works with your existing marketing campaign and add a few notable user reviews as well. This will catch people’s attention better as it will come off well-received by other buyers.
Companies do this all the time on their website, showing off customer testimonials right on the homepage as an indication to show their quality.
Just ensure that when you try to reach out to influencers, you don’t just go by the amount of reach that they have. The relevance of their type of content to your product matters a lot as it is their community’s interests that eventually get you sales.
We have now understood the importance of customer reviews in displaying the measure of the quality of a business and the products they sell.
As an e-commerce store owner, you must use this to your advantage to keep up, if not gain a competitive edge over competing physical sales channels.
We have labelled them as an “ingredient” because they are not strictly necessary in the list of items you need to sell a product. But they can enhance the perception of your product exponentially without you, the seller, having to do any additional work.
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