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The importance of customer reviews in eCommerce 

14/07/2022
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More than 60% of Spanish consumers check the reviews of other shoppers before buying online, meaning that as an online merchant it is essential for you to display customer reviews in your store to ensure a high rate of sales and conversions. 

In this article you will find out more about the different types of reviews that exist, the benefits they offer to businesses, ways to collect them and how to display them on multiple channels. 

Types of customer reviews 

In eCommerce we have two different types of customer reviews: 

Store or service reviews: they reflect the quality of the store's service. For example: customer service, deliveries, return process, etc. 

Product reviews: refer only to the quality and performance of the products. 

Each of these types of reviews provides valuable information for the benefit of both consumers and online merchants, which leads us to our second section. 

The benefits of customer reviews 

When it comes to making decisions, most people need confirmation from third parties, which is also what happens with online shopping.  

Customer reviews help to guide the shopper through their buying journey while providing important information about the store's reliability, service and product quality.  Besides providing social proof to consumers, they also offer many other benefits to businesses: 

  • They increase sales: along with social proof, reviews provide transparency and increase visitors' trust in your store, which is translated into higher sales and conversion rates. 
  • Increase traffic: reviews are the kind of user-generated content that enhances your eCommerce with valuable keywords to improve your ranking in the SERPs, increasing your visibility and traffic. And what about those eye-catching star ratings that appear in Google ads and organic results? According to the search engine, ad stars can increase your click-through rate by up to 17%.  
  • They reduce returns: the more reviews you have collected for a certain product, the better informed the buyer will be about the purchased product, so the probability that the client decides to return the product is much lower.  
  • Improve your service and product line: the information provided in real time by reviews, allow retailers to identify emerging problems and find solutions that optimize internal processes, service and product range. 

Collecting Reviews  

Before starting to collect reviews with a review system provider, you should consider the following: 

Google Partner 

As we mentioned in the previous section, reviews can greatly impact your site's SEO and SEA, so choosing a provider that has partnered with Google is essential to attract the attention of potential customers with those eye-catching Google star ratings.  

Automated review collection 

It is quite likely that if you are not asked to rate a certain store/product, you are not going to rate it on your own initiative, no matter how good the quality is. So, your review system provider should include an automated process for sending out review request emails, once your customers have received and tested the product.  

Truthfulness of reviews 

With the European Omnibus Directive that came into legal force on May 28, 2022, all online stores that collect reviews are now required to inform consumers about the authenticity of these reviews and the steps that are taken to verify them.  

Have we convinced you to start collecting reviews? It' s the moment to play it safe!  

With the Trusted Shops review system, you can rest confident that only customers who buy from your store can rate you, since each review is submitted to an authenticity control. Trusted Shops is one of the few Google Partners worldwide, which means that you can also display your review stars on Google in order to drive more traffic to your store.  

Where and how to show customer reviews 

Last but not least, here are the three main channels where you should display customer reviews to increase traffic and conversions. 

Online store 

We recommend you to display service reviews or store ratings on all the sub-pages of your store as well as on the homepage. Regarding product reviews, these are usually displayed in the product pages. 

Store rating stars accompany the user through their shopping journey. Source: RIA Menorca

Social Media 

A social media post combined with the right opinion has more persuasive power than a post without it.  

Google 

You can display star ratings in both organic results and Google ads. Referring to ads:

We can distinguish between the seller star rating in SERPs and the product star rating in Google Shopping. The requirements for displaying stars are: 

Seller star rating 

  • Collect customer reviews from Google Customer Reviews or from a Google Partner review system provider.  
  • Have collected at least 100 reviews in the last 12 months in the country where the ad will be displayed.  
  • Have a rating score of 3.5 or more stars.   
  • The visible URL domain of the ad must match the domain of the ratings. 

Product star ratings 

  • You must have accumulated at least 50 product ratings to display them.  
  • Share all your reviews with Google, even those that have low ratings.  
  • Send to Google the complete review feed at least once a month (this can be done automatically with a Google-certified review system provider).  

To conclude

Showing your customers' reviews will greatly benefit the development of your business. By using customer reviews properly, you will increase your store's trust, visibility and traffic, leading to higher sales and conversion rates. 

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