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The Pros and Cons of Online Customer Reviews

  
15 October 2014 10:14
  

The Pros and Cons of Online Customer Reviews

Ecommerce is often — and incorrectly — viewed as an easy way to make money. Create your website and the world is your oyster. For those of us that work in the industry, we know that this is not necessarily the case. There are many factors that contribute to success in ecommerce.

One factor that can contribute to success is using online customer reviews to build a stronger online presence. However, online reviews aren’t necessarily 100% beneficial. There are a number of pros and cons connected with online customer reviews — you should take these into account when deciding whether to sign up with a review partner.


The Pros of Online Customer Reviews

  1. Free advertising and content for your business on another website.
  2. Improved customer trust and confidence in your business. This is particularly important for specialist retailers as it can provide an edge over competitors who do not use customer reviews.
  3. Potential conversion rate increases due to improved trust and confidence.
  4. Potential search engine results rankings improvement. Search engines take the number of appearances of business names into account when generating results rankings. This is increased through posts containing your business name.
  5. Improved customer credibility by allowing contrary reviews.
  6. Reduction in complaints and returns as customers can see any negative points about products before purchasing.
  7. The ability to highlight areas for improvement in your order process.

The Cons of Online Customer Reviews

  1. A lack of negative reviews could potentially affect a customer’s opinion of your business and their decision to make a purchase. Research by Reevoo indicates that 68% of customers trust reviews and the company more if they include both positive and negative reviews, whilst 30% suspect fabricated reviews or censorship when they do not see any negative reviews.
  2. One negative review of a product or business can skew a potential customer’s view of them.
  3. Most third-party review sites will charge you to use their services. You must determine if the benefits outweigh the cost.
  4. On third-party review sites, disgruntled customers have the freedom to say whatever they like. This could lead to malicious or damaging information being posted.
  5. You need to keep reviews current and up to date. Otherwise they will seem out of date and irrelevant.

Review Partner Sites

There is a wide selection of review partner sites that you could potentially use on your website. The IRP is currently integrated with Trustpilot which is arguably the most recognised in the UK, USA, Scandinavia and a number of other European countries.

While the IRP is currently only integrated with Trustpilot, potentially you can use the functionality for other review partners. For further information, you can email the IRP support team.

Some popular review partner sites are:

Conclusion

This article has highlighted some of the potential pros and cons of using online customer reviews. Whilst the pros are decidedly beneficial, overlooking the cons could potentially provide the opposite outcome that you set out to achieve.

Understandably, many business owners would be unsure about allowing negative reviews to be published about their company. However, presenting a few flaws — and details of how you successfully resolved them — will help to build customer trust.

It is important to note that if you continue to improve your order process and communication with customers, the pros of using online customer reviews for both service and products can potentially greatly overcome the cons.

Additional Reading

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