Many retailers may be wondering how to boost holiday sales. There may be several answers to this question, but, without a doubt, one of them is through reviews. And you’ve certainly heard the word “review” at least once, which is basically a customer’s comment on a specific product or service they purchased. Reviews can be published on various channels, such as the retailer’s own website, on proprietary social networks or on websites specialized in capturing comments and reviews.

This concept emerged in 1994, when Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, one of the most valuable companies in the world, gave space for customers to evaluate their products. At the time, Amazon was a small online book store that upset publishers by betting that customer reviews could help other customers buy a certain title. While publishers believed that negative reviews could reduce sales, Bezos believed that the purpose of his business was not to sell books, but to help the customer make the best decision.

Reviews began to take over the market based on a very strong consumer trend, which is social influence. This influence that consumers exert on other consumers creates a new dynamic in retail: through their opinions, customers sell to retailers. Data from the Nielsen Institute confirmed this: 92% of consumers trust reviews made by other consumers more, compared to advertisements and sponsored ads, and that 95% of them are in the habit of analyzing comments before making a purchasing decision.

In the case of e-commerce, stimulating consumer interaction is an important factor in building reputation. Of course, to stand out from the competition, you first need to ensure a good shopping experience. But it is also essential to create space for questions and debates about products and services, encourage interaction, and, finally, know how to deal with customer complaints and seek to resolve them in the most transparent and agile way possible.

This is because, with the level of access to information that exists in the modern world, consumers want and seek to see reviews about the product, as well as the responses from retailers too, aspects that generate more confidence for them to continue with the purchase. The more transparency there is in the processes, the more the customer will feel safe and will become a repeat buyer of a certain store. There is data that proves this behavior: according to a survey carried out by the Spiegel Research Center, items with reviews can sell up to 270% more compared to products without reviews.

And I go further. Being found organically is every entrepreneur’s dream. Many people don’t know, but one of Google’s ranking criteria is the amount of spontaneous content generated by customers. In other words, if the brand receives good reviews, it will naturally have more authority and relevance online. This increases the chances of the site reaching the top of search engines, as search engines will understand that the page is relevant and it will be privileged in the ranking. Furthermore, reviews contribute to increasing the time spent on the page. This is because, according to the Brazilian Society of Retail and Consumption (SBVC), 70% of people buy based on someone else’s opinion and 97% of consumers read company reviews from other consumers before buying (Trustvox).

Another important factor that deserves attention is daily monitoring of customer reviews. As we have seen, they influence the business, especially sales and the store’s image. But just looking at customer reviews is not enough, you need to go deeper. It is necessary to analyze the reviews and pay attention to the suggestions left by customers. Each observation can be used as a basis for making improvements.

There is already technology on the market capable of transforming consumer opinions into data, helping retailers to strategically use reviews sent by customers. Linx, for example, recently launched, in partnership with Reclame AQUI, Linx Reviews by RA Trustvox, an exclusive platform for collecting and displaying consumer reviews across all sales channels, increasing the trust of potential customers at the moment and supporting to build brand reputation.

When engaging in comments, the customer receives a bonus for repurchase, a detail that directly impacts public loyalty. The retailer, in turn, has visibility into the public’s opinion about the quality of the product, the service, the shopping experience or their satisfaction with the store. Using this data, he is able to reformulate stock and processes and promote improvements in different aspects that he often did not know were bothering customers.

The benefits of reviews are countless. Mainly, if the retailer uses technology to its advantage, transforming customer opinions – which naturally engages purchases from other consumers and strengthens the company’s reputation – into an attribute to build customer loyalty and make strategic improvements to your business. How about starting to map customer opinion now to promote improvements for Christmas? That’s my tip.

* By Tiago Mello, CMO and CPO of Linx


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