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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 27, 2015

Brands: How to better use reviews for your business

In many ways reviews are the lifeblood of a small, online business. Reviews on sites like Amazon, eBay and retailer-based websites can tell potential shoppers what to expect from the brand. One expert offers advice on using these reviews in a positive way.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Reviews are so important these days. What can brands do to ensure reviews for their products - good or bad - are "real"?

Stine Mangor Tornmark, Vice President of Legal and Compliance, Trustpilot: Third-party verification is key to showing that product and company reviews are legitimate and transparent. It's a common myth that information shared on the Internet is likely to be "fake." When brands use solutions like review services, send customers personalized feedback requests or distribute individual codes that help customers leave verified reviews, they combat this stereotype and instill trust in their audiences. Brands should also work with review communities that monitor platforms where fake reviews are offered and sought after, and investigate suspicious user activity in order to identify and eradicate any potentially fake reviews.

Kristina: What impact do you think Amazon's recent crack down on fake reviews will have on businesses?

Stine: Customer reviews are a vital communications channel for customer service and transparent marketing, and Amazon's recent actions support this trend and we here at Trustpilot support their actions. Companies must take the collection and sharing of reviews seriously, and using review content to inform employee practices and product development. Meanwhile, review communities are increasingly investigating claims of false reviews, terminating contracts with companies who don't comply with community guidelines, and working with law enforcement agencies to assist in investigations. With reviews being a required part of the online shopping experience, these actions will quickly become standard in the ecommerce industry.

Kristina: How can brands better use positive reviews?

Stine: Positive reviews are an ideal way for brands to highlight their successes and gain customers' trust, but transparency is required. Brands have to give customers a chance to see past negative and positive reviews. This establishes trust and once trust is established, only then can brands use positive reviews to highlight their successes. For example, brands can display a live feed of customer reviews on their websites in critical locations, such as checkout pages. According to Econsultancy, 63 percent of customers are more likely to make purchases from websites that display user reviews.

Brands can also give customers the option to share reviews on social media, and work with a platform that feeds customer review data into major search engines who display this data in both organic search results and paid search ads. As example, review fed into an outlet like Google Seller Ratings (GSRs) can help improve SEO & SEM. By approaching every review as an ongoing dialogue, rather than an isolated comment, brands can extend the life and value of their customers' input.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce reviews, review content, review tips, Trustpilot

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