Reviews are the Marmite of the e-commerce world. Some online retailers love them; they work to validate your brand’s message through independent opinion and peer perspective. Other retailers hate them with a passion, seeing reviews as a method of highlighting the fact that you can’t please everyone.
But regardless of your own personal feelings about reviews, an important question must be asked: should you include them in your Shopify development? And the answer – every time – will be yes.
No, we haven’t gone mad! We know that there’s always going to be a mix of the good and the bad. But reviews matter and even less-than-perfect reviews can bring some pretty big benefits for retailers.
Online reviews are an important part of e-commerce development for the following reasons.
They boost ranking
No one can be 100% sure of what the Google Bot does and doesn’t factor into its ranking algorithm. However, some studies have suggested that review signals play a big role in ranking, with experts estimating that review quantity, diversity, and velocity account for around 15% of the algorithm.
They instil trust
A massive 91% of shoppers say that they’re more likely to buy from a business with positive reviews. Why? Because reviews instil trust. The brand voice is powerful, but the consumer’s voice speaks loudest. Savvy shoppers actively look for trust signals when it comes to making a buying decision.
They’re free marketing
Positive reviews are free marketing for your products. And believe it or not, negative reviews can act as free marketing for your brand… if you approach them in the right way. A negative review is a unique opportunity to show off your commitment to customer service, highlighting how you resolve issues.
They’re opportunities to grow
Negative reviews can be difficult to accept. But if you’re noticing a common theme running through them, it could be a good indicator of where change is needed. Perhaps a number of reviews mention slow delivery times. Use reviews as valuable feedback, highlighting where there’s room for improvement.
They improve traffic quality
Structured data offers retailers an opportunity to incorporate common decision factors – pricing and availability, for example – into featured snippets in the SERPs, boosting the quality of traffic to the site. Shopify’s own review system – Product Reviews – automatically sends review data across to Google.
Top tips for adding reviews to your Shopify store
It’s clear that reviews – both positive and negative – are important for online retailers. But our Shopify designers believe you can derive more value from reviews by following our 4 top online review tips:
Perhaps the most important tip of all is to ensure you have an automated system in place that collects reviews from your past customers. Relying on manual processes for outreach can be time-consuming.
2. Use an app
Some retailers publish testimonials as part of their Shopify content, but content published by the brand can’t be verified. For trust reasons, it’s much better to use an app, like Shopify’s own Product Reviews.
3. Don’t lie
Telling white lies may be tempting, especially if you’re not quite getting the reviews you hoped for. But customers are savvier than ever, and reports show that 92% of 18- to 34-year-olds can spot a fake review.
If you’re using Shopify’s app, you can customise the look of the review feature to match your branding. But you’ll need knowledge of Liquid, and more, so it can be best to work with Shopify support experts.
That’s where we come in. Whether you need help customising your review functionality, incorporating reviews into your Shopify store, or anything else, simply get in touch with the #ShopBuddy team. You can also keep up-to-date with all the latest review news and Shopify trends by signing up for our newsletter.