Which type of review is best for you and your business depends on what you sell. Do you sell a service, or do you sell products? Maybe it’s both! In this blog post, you can learn how Booking.com increased sales by 18% by defining its hotels, cars and trips as «products».
Written by Kevin Bull, CEO at Lipscore UK.
The world of shopping online has evolved exponentially in the last two decades. Gone are the days of basic websites, with what we can look back on now as questionable graphics – no to mention layouts – and minimal SEO or advertising strategies. Marketing has become an extremely sophisticated and lucrative machine – when planned and executed correctly, can significantly contribute to a sales pipeline.
With the introduction of user-centric websites built for conversion, paid search campaigns, re-targeting, complex and commercially driven SEO strategies, the list is long when it comes to being able to gain visibility and become competitive in an online environment. For many, the answer is to use the voice of their customers, often referred to ask user-generated content, as a real world of signal, to increase the volume of online sales. And with that in mind I wanted to raise the question – «what reviews are best for you?»
For me it’s simple, it comes down to what it is that you sell. Do you sell a service, or do you sell products? Maybe it’s both!
Over 10 years ago service reviews were introduced as way of creating trust for online shoppers. The ability for the consumer to write an un-biased opinion of their experience had a significant impact on online conversions, for obvious reasons. The fact you were able to review (pardon the pun) multiple examples of the experiences people had, instilled a sense of confidence when it came to buying online. Quickly we saw the review platform industry blow up, software companies were achieving billion-dollar valuations based on the data they had created for the e-commerce market. Businesses offering services from plumbing to insurance were able to clearly show their quality of service through the voice of their customers.
In the last few years, the review market has naturally evolved, allowing consumers to not just rate the service, which for most is now just expected, but to rate the products they have purchased too.
Let’s face it, we’ve all purchased something online which looked amazing, only to realise we’re not quite the model in the stock photo. Leading to us to return the product and losing faith in the company we purchased the item from. The service may have been first class, but the reality of the product we just purchased did not meet expectations. VIt could have turned up in a scruffy old box, 2 days later than anticipated, but if it made me look like Brad Pitt, then who cares?
This movement has led to e-commerce businesses implementing review platforms not just to illustrate the feedback on their products but to allow them to make informed, internal decisions, on what products are best sellers – and maybe more importantly, which products are being rated badly.
To use an example: Booking.com – whilst offering a service to book hotels, flights and pretty much most things nowadays, for sure they offer a service, but in my opinion, they are actually selling the consumer a product. The product being a hotel, a car or a trip. And what Booking.com found through introducing ratings and reviews on the ‘products’ they sell online sales increased by as much as 18% on those that showcased exceptional results. Wanting a hotel for the weekend? Well, it’s hard to imagine not understanding what rating it is before deciding. I, like most, want to know what my money gets me.
With all this being said the upsides to consumer feedback is significant for companies online, but to know what will give you the best ROI, purely comes down to asking yourself the question – what do you sell? A service or products.
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