Four Reasons to Use Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are becoming an increasingly common way to use the online community aspect of the Internet to help convert visitors to buyers. Amazon.com, CompUSA and other sites have been on record as saying customer reviews do lead to increased conversions. Here are four things you’ll want to consider:
1. Allow negative reviews? Absolutely. Including negative as well as positive reviews on your Web site makes you appear trustworthy.
2. Are they important? Heck, yeah. Ninety-two per-cent of online customers rated “customer reviews” as extremely or very helpful (the top-rated Web site feature) in a 2006 survey conducted by J.C. Williams/the e-tailing group.
3. Must they constantly be edited? Oh, yes. Inevi-tably you’ll get comments that don’t make sense or need attention (“gr8!” or “neeeeet”)
4. How do I start? You’ll need a large sample of reviews on hand before you launch the feature on your site. At least two companies (www.bazaarvoice.com and www.powerreviews.com) have the tools you need to get going — if you find the task too much to tackle on your own.
John Deneen is president of SiteForm, a Chicago-based e-commerce solutions and Web site development firm. You can reach him at (773) 334-8030.