It is imperative to have product reviews on your products these days. For many retailers it isn’t even a question, but a must-have.
Matt Moog, CEO of ratings and reviews software company Power Reviews said product reviews help drive traffic to a website, helps increase conversion of people once they get to the website, and is one of the best sources retailers have of a customer’s actual experience with products.
“It is very actionable,” said Moog.
Moog said just about every retailer knows that product reviews are a must, it is just a matter of finding the best possible solution to get the right coverage, volume, the right depth and community around it, while instituting best practices internally so the right people are seeing it in real-time.
Moog said his company has pushed hard by challenging clients to think about ways to bring the customer review experience into the store.
“Part of it is driven out of fear that if somebody walks into a store and there isn’t a review for them to read while they’re in the store, they’re going to open up the phone and Google it, so you might as well get in front of that,” said Moog.
When it comes to brand loyalty, Moog said the very act of having a customer write a review giving their feedback, commits a customer more to that brand than purchasing a product does.
“They’ve left a little piece of themselves, they are proud of it,” said Moog. “We are a big proponent to getting retailers to look at their reviewer as the beginning of a brand advocate community.”
Moog said these are people who have demonstrated the propensity to share their opinions, to tell other people about it.
Increasingly manufacturers are finding ways to create community around their products. Moog said retailers; particularly specialty retailers should do the same.
“The people who have the hardest time are the general stores, the ones who don’t have an affinity from their customers,” said Moog. “I think those specialty retailers have an interesting opportunity to use both the benefit of their physical location as their meeting point, and use the natural affinity to their natural customer base.”
Going forward, Moog said the biggest trend with product reviews is the impact of mobile devices and shopping stores. And it is not just mobile commerce in terms of buying, but it is mobile enabled commerce, in terms of looking up prices or information.
“What we’re trying to do is make manufacturers make customer reviews a very visible feature of their products,” said Moog. “So it is on the packaging, it is on the shelf.”
Moog said just like when you are walk around Target these days there are coupons you can scan everywhere, there should be reviews everywhere where customers can go scan and pull up.
“Those reviews should get better and better in terms of relevancy,” said Moog.
Moog said he sees geo-location product reviews in the stores. Where customers see product reviews of people living in the surrounding area of the store where the product is located.