How to build consumer trust online: let your customers do it for you.


June 1, 2017| by Amy Dunning

1 in 5 people say that they use online written reviews to help them with purchasing decisions*. Millennial shoppers in particular rely less on their own past experiences compared with older generations, and depend heavily on their peers’ opinions to compare products. This can include discussing products on social media.

39% of shoppers who have previously bought fresh products online said that hosting customer ratings and written reviews on the webshop would encourage them to make a purchase*.

A bonus of the continuous flow of online reviews is that it’ll improve the search engine rankings of your products. If a consumer searches for a product online, there is a high likelihood that a product with the most relevant reviews shows up higher on search rankings. Search engines use website crawlers to collect product content that will generate the most relevant and helpful product results for their users – give them fresh content to sort through and your products will stay on top for longer.

Online reviews aren’t just for online purchases.

Even though only 6.1% of UK grocery sales are made online, 29% of UK shoppers browse products online before purchasing in-store, so the role of ecommerce websites in driving UK sales is potentially far higher than this figure suggests.

49% of grocery shoppers use online sources when making their purchase decision*. These customers are known as ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) or Reverse-ROPO shoppers – or you may have heard the terms ‘webrooming’ vs ‘showrooming’ to describe these two shopping behaviours. We’ve explained it in greater detail in our recent blog.

To summarise: don’t think of your sales as online vs offline – many shoppers, online content is part of the purchasing journey, and may have a bigger influence on in-store sales that you realise.

Even bad reviews can help.

Heard the phrase “all publicity is good publicity”? To an extent, the same applies with product reviews. Shoppers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more credible and trustworthy.

68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or artificial reviews when they don’t see any negative opinions on the page.

Some customers are just impossible to please, and we know that. In fact, sometimes a negative review encourages people with positive experiences of the product to retaliate and stand up for the brand.

Either way, product managers can use these as valuable feedback for future versions of the product, or to identify gaps in the market.

There are other ways to reap similar benefits.

26% of shoppers who have previously bought fresh products online said that seeing a “buyers’ pick” or “bestselling items” feature would encourage them to buy fresh products online*. So even if you’re not keen on publishing customer reviews, there are other features you could syndicate onto your website instead.

*NielsenIQ Global Connected Commerce Report, 2017.

With NielsenIQ Brandbank Connect you can syndicate customer reviews, recommend bestsellers and display compatible products to shoppers. Learn more here.

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