“You can’t please everyone” is a popular saying for a reason. But sometimes in e-commerce, it feels like you’re trying to do exactly that. You’re trying to facilitate a smooth shopping experience from start to finish while also acquiring new customers through effective marketing and handling order fulfillment logistics. Seeing negative reviews on your website can range from mildly frustrating to downright worrisome, as it’s only natural to fret about their potential impact on your bottom line.
But negative reviews in e-commerce aren’t the end of the world. Take a deep breath. Negative reviews play an important role in building authenticity. You can also harness them to improve your operations. Keep reading to learn more.
Honest Feedback Builds Trust with Shoppers
As Inc. reports, over half (55 percent) of consumers look up product reviews online before making a purchase. Think about it from a shopper’s point of view: Are you more likely to trust what other consumers are saying, or are you more likely to take the word of a brand trying to sell you something? For this reason, it’s imperative to supplement your branded messaging with honest feedback from real buyers to build trust with potential customers.
Display customer ratings and reviews prominently on your website wherever customers are making purchasing decisions. The best place to post product reviews is directly on product pages, as consumers are actively seeking input as they’re browsing and considering what to add—or not add—to their shopping cart.
Posting customer feedback is more than an optional extra; it’s a must-have for any trustworthy e-commerce website. After all, what is an ecommerce business without its reputation? Shoppers want to know first and foremost that you’ve sold to other real people, as evidenced by authentic reviews. Negative reviews are just as useful as positive ones because they build trust while helping people make more informed purchasing decisions.
Using Negative Feedback to Your Advantage
Negative feedback also plays a very important role in helping merchants improve various aspects of their ecommerce stores. If four out of 10 reviewers say that the sizing is off for a particular garment, the seller will know to revisit the sizing chart and make adjustments to help consumers find a true fit.
If consumers comment on the poor quality of a certain product in real life compared to the description online, the retailer will know it is time to revisit their relationship with a certain manufacturer—perhaps even severing it to ensure the quality of their product line. According to Practical Ecommerce, “A slew of negative reviews for one product might also alert you that the product description is misleading or incomplete, or that you should stop selling that particular brand.”
Best Practices for Addressing Negative Reviews
The only way to turn negative feedback into something useful is to receive it with an open mind. Avoid trying to discredit commenters or seek retribution against those who leave negative reviews. Instead, respond with the intent of demonstrating you’ve heard what the commenter is saying and are taking it seriously. Emphasize how you plan to solve this problem in the future or make amends, depending on the situation. This will show future customers that you’re dedicated to optimizing their experience with your store, and that you’re committed to providing responsive customer service.
Running an e-commerce store means taking the bad with the good—and this is particularly true when it comes to ratings and reviews. The good news is negative reviews in e-commerce aren’t the end of the world. In fact, you can use them to make targeted improvements and connect with website visitors in a meaningful way.