White Paper - Online Ratings & Reviews

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Imagine a marketing tool that has the potential to drive sales, increase customer satisfaction, enhance loyalty, improve conversion rates and work virally to pass on positive recommendations to potential customers. A tool that creates a space for your customers to communicate with each other, share views and provide insightful product and service feedback. Online ratings and reviews deliver all this and more. Read our white paper to find out more

Transcript of White Paper - Online Ratings & Reviews

  • 1.Get your customers talking { Harness the real power of online ratings and reviews }White Paper Harness the power of online ratings and reviewsImagine a marketing tool that has the potential toreally deliver to the bottom-lineOnline Ratings and Reviews do just that!

2. Get your customers talking { Harness the real power of online ratings and reviews } Contents Get you customers talking 3 So what is holding online retailers back? 4-5 The power of a review 6-8 Integrating online ratings and reviews into your marketing9 The benefits are clear10 What are retailers wating for?11 The early adopter advantage 11 The available options 12 Learn more about online ratings and reviews 13 Contents / 2 3. Get your customers talking { Harness the real power of online ratings and reviews } Get your customers talking:This is supported by a recent global survey by Nielsen of 26,486Internet users in 47 markets which revealed that consumerHarness therecommendations are the most credible form of advertisingamongof the studys respondents.1 Elsewhere,social commerce solution provider Bazaarvoice reports apower of onlineincrease in conversion rates for products that have reviews. 2 ratings and reviewsIts unsurprising therefore that a 2007 report by researchgroup eMarketer showed thatof UK retailers see theimprovement in conversion rates that they generate as their keybenefit. So why do onlyof online retailers currently use Imagine a marketing tool that has the potential to drive them? 3 sales, increase customer satisfaction, enhance loyalty, improve conversion rates and work virally to pass on positive recommendations to potential customers. A tool that creates a space for your customers to communicate with each other, share With benefits like these, ignoring the power of customer views and provide insightful product and service feedback. ratings and reviews has the potential to impact on your sites Online ratings and reviews deliver all this and more.success and bottom line.The business case for using online ratings and reviews is clear. Forrester research shows that of online retailers rank customer ratings and reviews as an effective or very effective tactic for driving conversion. 1 Nielsen, Word-of-Mouth the Most Powerful Selling Tool 2 http://www.bazaarvoice.com/cs_rr_conversion_figleaves.html 3 eMarketer, 2007Get your customers talking / 3 4. Get your customers talking { Harness the real power of online ratings and reviews } So what is holding onlineThe question being asked by retailer is what is the risk? Is therea risk of exposing the products and services on which the retailerretailers back?depends, to public scrutiny and possible derision? All the evidence, however, suggests that there is no risk justopportunity. Firstly, consumers like to see ratings and reviews: a The concept of online ratings and reviews is not a new one.2008 study of 5,000 online shoppers by Forrester showed that You can still access reviews on certain sites that were written inwant them, and a 2006 survey by Jupiter Research the 1990s, and the very fact that those sites are still in businessshowed thatof online shoppers use reviews when speaks volumes. Today, it is easier than ever to select the software making a purchase. package that delivers the features youre looking for at a range of sophistication levels and price points, from specialists including This is unsurprising. A review provides some of the answers any Reevoo, feefo and Bazaarvoice. sensible consumer would ask before making a purchase. It alsogives them the information theyre looking for in one place alongwith the guidance they seek and reassurance they need and theopportunity to buy. Surely now its time for more retailers to make the leap into total transparency, and let their customers tell one another what they really think.So why doof online retailers still not use consumer ratings and reviews on their websites? 4 4 Ibid So what is holding online retailers back? / 4 5. Get your customers talking { Harness the real power of online ratings and reviews } It also delivers convenience with the least possible number of In fact, a 2007 report from Jupiter Research showed that clicks required for the fastest online shopping experience. It is this of the 1,179 consumers polled had opted out of making a increased ease and comfort that converts into improved sales multiple purchase because they could not find the information and greater loyalty. they were looking for on a single product.Indeed, anecdotal experience shows that even those productsWhats more, we live in an online world where social interaction receiving less than perfect reviews experience higher conversion through sites like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo is commonplace. rates than those without reviews at all. Discussion of the relative merits of products and services isa regular feature on these sites, so its becoming increasingly That said the reality is that the overwhelming majority of reviews important for retailers to be able to interact with the feedback and tend to be positive of the product ratings received by respond to comments. Bazaarvoices clients in the UK (and 80% in the US) are four or five stars out of five.Obviously, having reviews, feedback and links on external blogs For online retailers, the risk of exposure should be outweighed by and forums has the benefit of extending your reach. Having them the very real competitive consequences of not carrying reviews.on your own site as well puts you in pole position to capturecustomers and make the sale. Since customers like the opportunity to provide and read feedback, if your website doesnt provide it they may go elsewhere. Not only could you lose the sale that would otherwise have been yours, but you might also lose that customers business for ever. So what is holding online retailers back? / 5 6. Get your customers talking { Harness the real power of online ratings and reviews } The power of a review In addition, the same report found thatare likely to consult websites with user reviews before any other source of information.Ratings and reviews are a powerful tool for driving upA more sophisticated approach to ratings and reviews packages conversion rates however the benefits go much wider and deeperenable customers to be highly selective about the reviews they than this single, albeit very important, parameter. choose to trust. BazaarVoice, for example, provide a people like me feature that allows the visitor to filter reviews to Benefits that include: improved attitudes towards your site;show those written only by similar people, by age, gender and increased traffic, both to your site and across all trading channels; location. Clearly such peer group recommendations can be and better business performance.a powerful sales tool and the Edelman Trust Barometer has shown that trust in a person like me more than tripled between At the heart of these gains is one vital unifying factor. The most2004 and 2006 fromto important consideration, as with every other decision relating to your site, is how an investment in ratings and reviews willConsumers also like and respect websites that carry ratings benefit your customers. Every other benefit will spring from this and reviews. It is a clear demonstration of the sites transparency one gain. and willingness to share the truth with the customer, warts and all. In fact, in a form of reverse psychology, there is a definite senseIncreased customer interaction that a site willingly carrying poor reviews actually gains in terms of customer attitudes and satisfaction as a result of its integrity and Consumers like the opportunity to read the opinions of theirhonesty. It contributes to the credibility that helps customers to peers, chiefly because they view them as unbiased sources oftrust both the site and the company. information with no commercial subtext. This makes it easier for them to choose the products they are interested in.Data from global research company Nielsen reveals that consumer recommendations were the most credible form of advertising among of the 26,486 people polled 5, and a Marketing Sherpa report from 2007 said that of respondents would trust consumer reviews over the opinions of a critic. 5 Nielsen, op cit. The power of a review / 6 7. Get your customers talking { Harness the real power of online ratings and reviews } Bad reviews can be good for business. This is part of theDeloitte & Touche research shows that of consumers reason behind the increases in customer satisfaction reported in who read reviews then go on to share them with family and friends, two recent reports from Foresee Results. The first, from 2007, potentially extending impact to attract new users to the site. In showed that reviews drive higher purchase satisfaction addition, Bazaarvoice functionality enables syndication with andhigher loyalty. The second report, from 2008, external shopping and social networking sites, also significantly recorded 9% higher customer satisfaction levels amongexpanding the potential reach of your brand into new consumers who recalled seeing reviews on a website.territories.Even more dramatic were the findings of an eMarketer reportHowever, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Reviews also have an from 2007. This showed that UK online retailers report important influence on search engine optimisation (SEO). In a 2007 customer satisfaction rates improving by following eMarketer report, of UK online retailers claimed that implementation of ratings and reviews an immediate return on consumer-generated activity (such as reviews) had improved investment for those businesses. their SEO. This is partly explained by information from Nielsen Buzzmedia The lesson is simple: to improve the value of your site to which reports that over a quarterof search results link consumers and increase the affection and respect that they to user-generated content. have for it, implement ratings and r