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5 Ways to make product reviews a competitive advantage

Thursday, 16 April 2020
product reviews and photos

For savvy shoppers, product reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to finding the right product to meet specific needs.

And for savvy businesses, they’re a bigger competitive advantage than ever in 2023.

In this article, we unpack 5 reasons why.

1. Product reviews increase sales and average order value

With 89% of consumers checking reviews online before making purchases, you could say it’s table stakes for businesses to have reviews available online speaking to the quality of their services and products.

But for many businesses selling products, service-level reviews aren’t always enough. Do you offer a wide range of products? If so, a review about your online support service from a customer who bought a hairdryer isn’t necessarily relevant to a potential customer shopping for shampoo.

intro stats product reviews update

And if you sell something like clothing, which consumers can be especially particular about things like quality and fit, specific reviews for each product are crucial for sales because customers — even those who have purchased other items from you in the past — need to feel confident about the specific purchase they’re considering if you want them to actually click BUY.

Just how effective can product reviews be when it comes to scoring more sales? 

British multinational retailer, Ann Summers, found that going from no reviews to even just a 1-star rating increased their conversions by 76%. Product reviews with higher ratings saw even higher conversion rates. Overall their ecommerce store saw up to a 230% increase in conversions by leveraging product reviews throughout their customer journey.

AnnSummers Product Reviews on page example

2. Product reviews provide fresh user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is content that is created by consumers, rather than brands. In today’s world, where consumers are inundated with brand messaging and more purchasing options than ever, UGC is particularly useful in building social proof and trustworthy word of mouth marketing around your products.

There are plenty of stats to speak to the power of UGC —  86% of consumers believe that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they’ll buy from — and 60% think content created by other consumers is most authentic, compared to the 20% who turn to branded content for authenticity. 

Conversion increase

When it comes to UGC in the form of product reviews, visuals are everything. No matter how accustomed we are to online shopping, there’s always a shadow of a doubt that the item we receive will look and feel quite different from the images on the product page — but product reviews with rich media can be the answer to that.  

Trustpilot’s Product Reviews photo feature makes it easy to collect and display user-generated photos alongside your product reviews on your website.

Beyond your website, user-generated photos of your products can also be used to create effective posts and ads for social media. 

“In order to keep the edge in a competitive market, we wanted to add Product Reviews to Legeakademiet’s online store. Instead of just implementing the function, we wanted to identify the potential payoff through a split-test. The split-test clearly showed that implementing the function would help increase conversion rate and increase basket size.”
Quote image
Jesper P. Tønder Client Lead at S360

product reviews photo feature full release

Consumers love to engage with short videos — and that’s not just limited to TikTok. 84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video, and watching a short video is the preferred way to learn about a product or service for 69% of people.

But the best part of enabling customers to share UGC videos in their product reviews is that it can help you tap into younger markets and give you fresh video content to show off throughout your customer journey — and your marketing channels.

"Building transparency with our own customers is very important to us and customer product photos enables us to do that very effectively."
Simona Bittalova
Digital Marketing Manager at customer example

Imagine that instead of stock videos — or even orchestrating an expensive video shoot — for your products, you could highlight videos of your customers talking about how much they liked their purchase on your website and marketing campaigns. 

On top of coming across as a lot more authentic and genuine, they’re a lot more cost-effective as well.

3. Product reviews improve your SEO

SEO is particularly challenging for ecommerce sites. With so many different product pages — and constant churn as new products are added or taken away — it can be much harder to optimize for ecommerce than service-based sites.

Product reviews primarily help your site’s SEO by giving you continuously fresh content, which Google loves. Some product reviews can be quite detailed, which can help expand a given product’s query reach and ultimately rank for longer tail keywords.

Product reviews with video

SEO is also impacted by the length of time people spend on your pages — so you should know that about 70% of consumers are looking for reviews on products when they land on site. 

And they won’t hesitate to leave if they don’t find them, taking a toll on site performance metrics like bounce rate and time on site — both of which can negatively impact your SEO — and causing you to lose out on potential customers. 

Beyond keeping site visitors on your site, product reviews can also help get your star rating to display in search results through review snippets when you embed them on your website. Review snippets only need to be set up once when you implement your product review solution, making them a great way to automate some of your SEO efforts for your product pages — saving you both time and money.

product reviews example

These little gold stars help your page stand out on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) so much so that some Trustpilot customers have been able to increase click-through rates by up to 35%.

rich snippets and product reviews example

Fresh content and review snippets only need to be set up once when you implement your product review solution. This is a great way to automate some of your SEO efforts for your product pages, saving you both time and money.

4. Increase CTR on Google Shopping and add photos to your product reviews

Did you know that product reviews can also help you earn Google Seller Ratings on your search results and Google Shopping listings — as well as increase your CTR up to 10%?

superdry google shopping product reviews example

It turns out that Google Seller Ratings are even more compelling to shoppers when they’re accompanied by visual product reviews. According to Google, 50% of online shoppers rely heavily on images when deciding what to buy online — and that’s exactly why they introduced user-generated images in product reviews on Google Shopping back in 2019.

Customer photos attached to product reviews on Google Shopping

Customer photos attached to product reviews on Google Shopping

When you use Trustpilot Product Reviews, any and all of your product review photos will automatically be fed to Google so they can appear on your Shopping Ads if they qualify.

5. Optimized inventory management and product selection

Collecting product reviews can give your business valuable consumer insights. Understanding which products your customers really love can help you keep up with demand and stock products with similar attributes down the line.

These same insights allow you to identify and remove poorly rated products from your site, lowering the risk that one of your happy customers will become dissatisfied with a future purchase and turn to another brand. 

And don’t underestimate the importance of those products with mediocre ratings — if you have products that consistently get 3-star ratings, digging into the content of those reviews can help you tweak the product, improve it for future customers, and turn it into a 5-star product.

For an inspiring example of brands who do this well, look no further than Legeakademit. Ann Reimer, Founder Partner of Legeakademit says, “Through product reviews, customers tell us which products to get more of and which to remove. It helps us pick the right products just as much as they help our customers pick the right product.” 

In today’s saturated online marketplace, this is the kind of mindset all companies should have. Reviews aren’t just a way to help consumers — they also help businesses pinpoint exactly how to satisfy their customers.

Boost your sales with Product Reviews today

If you’re selling something online, product reviews can bring your business great benefits in terms of conversions, SEO, and product development. 

Collecting and showcasing product reviews is quick and easy with Trustpilot, and you can start as soon as today.

Download our complete guide to reviews


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