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eCommerce Stores: The Power of the Product Review

eCommerce Stores and Product ReviewsWhen deciding which items to purchase, online consumers have many options to aid them in making their buying decisions, such as Google™, comparison shopping sites, product reviews, and even friends.

Most shoppers are likely to use a combination of those four, but product reviews are one of the most-sought-after features. In fact, MarketingSherpa says 58% of online consumers look for product reviews when they’re looking to make a purchase.*

Tools like Solid Cactus’ Star Product Reviews—which is compatible with Yahoo! Stores—can be implemented to help prospective buyers decide whether or not a product is right for them. Not only will these reviews contain valuable information from other satisfied customers, but the content can be indexed by search engines, which can aid in getting ranked well for individual products.

Star Product Reviews Build Trust

Online shoppers are more likely to buy from companies they trust, and with Star Product Reviews, building consumer confidence is easy to accomplish. Reviews can help to build trust in several ways:

  • First, consumers see that others are shopping in your store.
  • Second, asking for reviews shows you care about customer feedback.
  • Finally, you’re giving prospective buyers more product information.

As a bonus, Star Product Reviews offer a “Was this helpful?” voting feature for each review, which gives users another way to provide feedback. You can also showcase a reviewer as a verified customer with colored icons and customized text.

Star Product Reviews Are SEO Friendly

Star Product Reviews were designed to be easy for search engines to access your content, which is helpful for increasing rankings and traffic. This adds SEO value to your individual item pages, while maximizing the chances for your site to rank for a specific product or keyword term—a vital element that can give you a competitive edge when your customers go to Google for more information. Each review written about a product can be included in the item page content or on a separate page with a link back to the item, which gives you flexibility in having search engine spiders crawl where you need them to.

Star Product Reviews Are Hands-Off and Flexible

Star Product Reviews are easy to manage. Customizable emails are sent automatically at timed intervals that you set to invite previous customers to submit reviews about the products they’ve purchased. You can even offer past customers an incentive to write reviews, which could increase repeat business and build loyalty.

When new reviews are placed, notifications are sent to as many contacts within your store as needed, making it easy for multiple staff members to manage inventory. Star Product Reviews can be set to automatically approve or deny reviews—as well as filter any profanity or unwanted words that may appear in any incoming reviews—which means you’ll spend less time moderating.

If you want more control, you can manually approve or deny each review. You can also edit or delete reviews once they’re live, either one at a time or globally, which makes moderation easy to accomplish. This functionality helps eliminate the risk of competitors or spammers posting unrelated, cookie-cutter, spammy, or harmful reviews.

Factor in the ease of tracking each review, and you’ve got a great way to get feedback on your products so that you can adjust your inventory to better serve the needs of your customers.

In the end, product reviews are much more than a way to inform and persuade your customers. They can also improve your SEO efforts, help you make informed business decisions about your inventory, and increase repeat business.

*Source: MarketingSherpa, Ecommerce Benchmark Guide 2007.

This article was published in the March/April 2010 issue of eBiz Insider, the magazine for eCommerce professionals from Web.com.


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