Consumers rely on reviews, but they don’t trust them
Retail TouchPoints Staff
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
While the majority of consumers believe online reviews help them along their shopping journey (88 percent), only a fraction of these customers (18 percent) actually trust that all the information contained within the reviews is valid, according to Trustpilot.
This significant gap reveals that it is critical for businesses to not only incorporate online reviews into the shopping experience, but to deploy them in a way that will build trust and transparency with the consumer.
The survey of more than 1,000 online shoppers found:
- Nineteen percent read reviews prior to visiting a company’s site;
- A quarter read reviews as soon as they get there;
- Nearly half (47 percent) read while on the site before adding an item to their cart (i.e., while actively shopping).
To close the gap between those seeking out trustworthy online reviews and those who believe they are fully authentic, retailers need to gain a greater understanding of how shoppers read, write and evaluate online reviews.
Half of consumers feel that the overall rating or a high-level, easy-to-understand aggregation of a company’s feedback to consumer opinions are the most important factors when it comes to reading online reviews. Additionally, 20 percent cited how recently the reviews were posted as the most important factor, while another 20 percent said the number of reviews posted for a product is more relevant.
The report identified several best practices in creating more trustworthy customer feedback strategies:
- Ensuring online reviews are easy to find and showcasing them to customers during every step of the shopping experience;
- Giving customers a forum for reviews and inviting them to leave their opinion;
- Responding to negative feedback in real time;
- Asking the customer to update their review once the situation is resolved;
- Analyzing sentiment to continually improve business and products.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How can retailers add more trust and transparency to online reviews? What do you find adds authenticity and relevancy to an online review?