By Ruth Richter • May 01, 2019

When you make your next reservation for a Saturday night out at a fancy restaurant, you’re probably not thinking about your car tires. So it might seem a bit surprising that one of the most prestigious star ratings in the restaurant business is put out by, yes, the tire company Michelin. Michelin stars are awarded to the very top restaurants, and the highest number of stars an establishment can achieve is three. Gaining or losing a star has dramatic impact on that restaurant’s business success.

Online product reviews can have a similar effect on a business’ success. Perhaps the change in the business outcomes won’t seem quite as dramatic as a Michelin star, or lack thereof, but depending on the business and marketplace, product reviews can be more important to sales than one may think.

The Value of Positive (and Negative!) Reviews

There’s a reason shoppers subscribe to services like Consumer Reports®. They want to make sure that what they’re spending their hard-earned money on is going to meet their expectations. While Consumer Reports may not cover the products you sell, the concept is the same. Reviews let a customer know whether or not they can trust your business. Was the item as described? Did it arrive whole and safely packaged? Was it the right color and the right design? Did the product work as promised?

Online product reviews are even more valuable to ecommerce where consumers can’t touch and feel the item in front of them. Instead, they must rely on the product description on the website. Next, they’ll read the reviews. In fact, nearly 90 percent of online shoppers form their opinion of a product by reading reviews.

It’s not just the positive reviews that can inspire a purchase, either. Believe it or not, even negative reviews can have a positive impact on your ecommerce business. According to the CEO of PowerReviews, negative reviews are used to confirm credibility and read to ensure that what is stated in the review is actually relevant. A one-star review for a dented corner on product packaging is easily dismissed. A review that is honest, if less than stellar, carries more weight than having all glowing reviews. Too much positivity can make a customer just as wary as too much negativity.

Gain More Than Just Feedback

Product reviews can also benefit your business in more ways than just having a positive number of stars on your product page.

  • A Product Description From a Different Point of View: Chances are that a user will describe your product differently than you would, whether that’s simply the difference of seller versus buyer, or because a business is closer to the product and has a more difficult time being objective. Someone actually using the product will have a unique point of view and could share a feature, aspect, or use case that your writers wouldn’t have thought to list.
  • Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words: Each product listing on your website likely has photos of the item from different angles and lighting, but photos of the products in real life give you additional content that you could never have come up with in your marketing department. Other shoppers will benefit from seeing someone else wearing the product or watching a video of someone else using the item.
  • Rank Higher (… With SEO): Getting a new review signals to Google that your product page has received new content and is being updated on a regular basis, which serves to improve search engine ranking. Reviews can also boost ranking on long-tail keywords and brand name searches.

IN-SYNCH and ROI Consulting

We do not sell our solutions on-line; however, recently we started to receive online reviews on our FaceBook page. Even though our market doesn’t generally look to our FaceBook page, now that we have the five-star rating, it is quite an honor. Ready to experience IN-SYNCH integration with your marketplaces? The team at ROI Consulting has  the expertise you need to synchronize your Sage 100cloud system with real-time data. Let our experience help you gain  the review stars you need for a successful online shopping business. Contact us here or call 402-934-2223, ext. 101.