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More is better: Why review quantity matters for social proof

Monday, 4 February 2019
More is better: Why review quantity matters for social proof

It’s a well established fact that the presence of reviews on an eCommerce site plays a powerful part in turning visitors into customers.

In a world filled with decisions to make, reviews help shoppers make the right decision. Customer feedback can help people make smarter choices, and helps online retailers stand out from the rest of the competition.

In 2017, Moz attributed 13% of traffic value to online reviews (review quantity, review diversity, etc.), making customer feedback the 5th most important ranking factor.

Today, we’re seeing indications that the quantity of online reviews can have a significant impact on conversions and consumer behavior. Retailers benefiting from consumer feedback could see even better results by increasing their review volume.

Trustpilot encourages retailers to collect more reviews. While many businesses understand that the quality of their reviews is important, a lot of companies don’t realise that the number of reviews they get is just as powerful.

Review quantity affects social proof, and your business’s reputation

When shopping online, consumers look for reviews in order to get an idea of a business’s reputation and customer service.

Shoppers tend to look for new, updated reviews that will indicate whether or not old issues have been resolved. Old, outdated reviews will continue to be shown when you don’t have new customer feedback coming in regularly. These old reviews won’t reflect the business’s current reputation and the customer service experienced by recent shoppers.

A study published in Psychological Science using phone cases on found that customers are more likely to favour a product based on the quantity of reviews, rather than what they say. The findings indicate that most people tend to favour a product that has more reviews, even if it has a lower rating than another product.


Amazon reviews

In terms of exposure and search engine optimisation, small and medium businesses can also benefit greatly from having as many reviews as possible.

Search engines generally notice when customers are talking about your business a lot. That’s why the number of reviews is an indication of your business’s credibility and reputation.

To learn more about how reviews impact your SEO - check out our webinar here.

Review quantity matters, yes, but let’s not forget to aim for quality too! It’s a good thing to collect as many online reviews as possible, but it’s important to understand that numerous poor-quality reviews may not help you grow your business.

Ultimately, more reviews are important, as long as you collect honest, authentic reviews. It’s important that your customer feedback reflects your company’s reputation, that’s why combining review quality and quantity is essential in order to boost your business’s reputation.

Review quantity converts more consumers

A BrightLocal study revealed that when judging a business on customer feedback, 44% of people looked for the quantity of reviews.

When shoppers visit a website, they expect to read current reviews, and if there aren’t any, they might assume that this company isn’t good enough or hasn’t served enough customers, nullifying the effect of customer feedback.

According to a recent Trustpilot study, 16% of consumers think reviews are too old after 3 months, 36% after 6 months, and 65% after a year. If you want your business to stand out on search engines, collecting a lot of reviews, consistently, will help you show up more often.

And with 92% of consumers now reading online reviews before purchasing online, it’s only natural that many small businesses would work hard to convince potential customers by telling them about the shopping experience they can expect. With reviews, business can maximise their online visibility and reputation, and therefore convert more new visitors into customers.

High volumes of reviews seem to make the score you have more trustworthy, and reduce the impact of negative reviews on consumers. As most businesses are starting to understand that review volume can help boost conversion rates, one question remains. How many reviews are we talking about? 500? 1,000?

I think it’s safe to say that there is no specific number a business needs to hit in order to benefit from review volume; but the more, the better. The only threshold we’d recommend aiming for is 150, as that would qualify you for Google Seller Ratings, an automatic ad extension that can increase click-through rate on paid search.

Your business needs as many reviews as it can get to overcome from customer hesitation. To achieve this, you’ll need to collect as many positive reviews as possible, so that the handful of negative reviews you might receive won’t affect new visitors as much.

Improving your review collection

Collecting customer feedback isn’t easy. In order to receive as many reviews as possible, it’s important to consider sending review invitations to every customer who’s purchased from your company and optimise your review invitations to increase the likelihood of getting a review.

But what are review invitations?

Review platforms like Trustpilot help you ask your existing customers for feedback shortly after purchasing from your eCommerce site via a form or an email invite.

Your invitations to review your service or product should be sent close to the time of the initial purchase, so that the experience is still top of mind. However, if you shipped your customer’s product across the planet, it might be more appropriate to send a review invitation a bit later, to make sure the customer received it safely.

However long you decide to wait to send the review invitation, you’ve made the decision to start collecting customer feedback in the form of reviews. You’re on the path to success, but the work isn’t all over.

Choosing how to collect feedback is important to ensure you receive as many reviews as possible, so here are four ways you can keep receiving reviews:

Optimise your invitations: it’s important to learn the best time to send invitations, and the best way to request invitations. To do so, we recommend A/B testing both your timing and content.
Use reminders: don’t be scared of asking again. Sending reminders to customers is important when trying to collect as many reviews as possible.
Embed review forms on-site: place a review form right on your site to ensure a wide audience is exposed to the review form.
Incorporate reviews into your marketing strategy: add review calls-to-action to all your emails, newsletters, social accounts... This can help you collect feedback, faster.
By keeping a constant flow of customer feedback, you’re ensuring that your conversion rate continues to increase.

Wrapping up

Review quantity matters.

Businesses need to put review volume at the core of their customer-centric strategy if they’re going to commit to reviews. Improving your customer experience is one place to start. Delivering great service, sharing your reviews on different marketing channels, and sending review invitations is likely to help push shoppers to leave online reviews.

Investing in a strong review marketing strategy by using a third-party review tool is another way to make sure you’ll collect as many reviews as possible and be able to use them accordingly.

Softwares like Trustpilot can help you kickstart your review strategy. In addition to increasing review volume, Trustpilot customers report a strong rating increase from collecting customer feedback by inviting customers to review their service or product regularly.

Without a healthy volume of reviews, your business might be missing out on the full benefits of customer feedback, such as, higher conversion rates and traffic, new business insights, trusted relationships, customer loyalty and great reputation.

Find out more about reviews today, read our 'Bad reviews' report for free, and discover how Trustpilot can help you collect as many authentic reviews as possible, whilst using negative feedback to learn from your customers.


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