Imagine you’re a customer shopping for a hot new product on Amazon. Most of us have been in this situation before. You type your query into the search bar and hit enter.
What greets you on the other side?
Options. Lots and lots of options.
How do you decide between all of these choices? First, you narrow it down to the topmost results. Between those, there are a number of factors that could lead to a final decision. But the one that influences purchases the most is product reviews.
What could be more valuable than the experiences of real people who’ve already bought the product you’re looking at? The product with the better reviews will almost always win. It’s what the system was designed for, after all. Because buyers value reviews so heavily, it’s vital that you pay close attention to them. It could mean the difference between a purchase and a pass.
Let’s assume that most other aspects (name, picture, price, etc.) are similar for the top search results. Not too much of a stretch. Product names often boil down to “Company A Widget X” vs “Company B Widget X” and pricing doesn’t vary much since Amazon is a highly competitive market.
What does that leave for customer decision making?
Product reviews allow for a quantifiable comparison between similar products. All else equal, do you buy the 4 star product of the 5 star product? And, wouldn’t you be willing to give a 5 star product a click even if it cost a bit more than the 4 star product?
Amazon’s search defaults to sorting by relevance, but savvy customers often change this to sort results by average customer review. When sorting by review rating, Amazon shows the most relevant results sorted by average customer review. In other words, it shows the best of the best. Under this filter, the subjectivity of product reviews is made concrete. Let a few too many negative reviews slip by? Say goodbye to your list position.
Product reviews boil down to a comparison of quality in the search results page. If your product doesn’t measure up, buyers won’t even bother giving you a click.
Getting a customer to click on your Amazon search result is the first part of the battle. Once on the page, the customers are looking for a reason not to buy.
If the product meets their needs and the price is right, the last thing a consumer will typically check before hitting that sought after “Add to Cart” button is the product reviews.
If customers run into particularly positive or negative product reviews, their purchasing decision can be heavily influenced. Many customers will still check 1 star reviews, even for products that have mostly positive reviews. If those reviews reveal a significant problem with your product or your customer support, those sales will quickly slip through your fingers.
The easiest way to generate positive reviews is to sell a high quality product. Still, despite your best efforts, there are customers who are bound to be dissatisfied. How can you tip the scales and gain the edge over your competitors at this crucial decision point?
The answer is simple: customer service.
As a seller, you must be willing to get in the trenches and reach out to every customer with a negative review. Every legitimate concern with your product needs to be addressed courteously and rapidly. Otherwise, there’s a danger of other angry buyers voting the review “helpful”--so much so that it can show up on the first page of your product reviews!
With dedication to customer reviews, your brand will build a reputation as a champion for the customers. A negative product review can be edited and changed to a positive review, with a note explaining how helpful customer service was, and how impressed they are with your company.
In fact, one of our customers’ top-selling products has this type of edited review marked as the #1 most helpful by users! Shocking as it sounds, a two star review can drive huge sales to your product.
Product reviews are critical to success on Amazon. Buyers use them when they compare search results, and scrutinize them carefully before purchasing.
Product reviews are an indicator of whether your company stands behind their products. Buyers will use product ratings to make purchasing decisions, and reviewers who are treated well will leave good reviews. This process will feed into itself until you’ve become a trusted brand.
It can sometimes seem you have no control over your product reviews, but there are specific steps you can take to improve your review standings. Besides the obvious and unhelpful “sell a good product,” you can quickly and effectively address negative reviews to leave a good impression on even your unhappiest customers.
Ultimately, Amazon product reviews are a reflection of your company, both for consumers and for yourself. You should be just as alarmed as customers are if your product reviews aren’t stellar. Building a positive brand image is critical to success for private label selling.
If you need some help staying on top of product reviews, Efficient Era has you covered. Learn about our Product Review Notification service here!
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