This article will explain how and why to use Ratings & Reviews to benefit your store and the shopping experience of your customers.

With the rise of eCommerce the face of retail has been changed forever. ‘Social Shopping’ has added an entirely new layer of interactivity to the online shopping process. No longer do people need to turn to their friends or consumer publications when making purchasing decisions. They expect transparency and they want to make their decisions based on a set of unbiased people with the same interests. But if a product is being bought online it can’t be held and inspected by the potential customer; if they can’t determine the tangible quality of the item themselves, then how can you reassure them in regards to the quality of what you’re offering. Incorporating user-generated ratings and reviews is a great way to do this!

WSM offers an integrated module for eCommerce Customer Reviews & Ratings as part of its comprehensive eCommerce Content Management System (CMS).  Once submitted by your eCommerce customer, Product reviews and ratings are moderated and appear on product pages as soon as they are approved.  Offering you complete control over what user generated reviews and content does, and does not appear. 

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Benefits of Utilizing Customer Ratings & Reviews

  • Demonstrate customer service and trustworthiness. When a customer is browsing through your products and sees a high volume of positive customer feedback, it reinforces in their mind the fact that you are a company worth doing business with; one of the “good guys.” Not to mention the fact that this will help in negating one of the inherent difficulties with selling online, the inability for customers to physically examine the product they are interested in. Other customers will always carry more weight in reviewing a product than the person selling the product, and our eCommerce ratings & reviews feature will allow you to capitalize on that!
  • Cultivate an active user base. The customer reviews and ratings feature that comes with your site also offers site managers the option to respond to comments that visitors have left. This is extremely valuable because people will be much more likely to participate in the discussion if someone from the company itself is prone to responding. By showing that you appreciate their input and answering any questions that arise, you will be establishing a sense of trust and community throughout your website that can lead to increased conversions in the long run.
  • Improve your SEO efforts. Customer ratings & reviews, in addition to their other applications, also provide your site with valuable content. Search engines that crawl product pages will also take into account any reviews and ratings left on the site by customers. Chances are these comments will contain valuable keywords, which will add to your SEO efforts!
  • Inspired site content. Throughout the process of reading the eCommerce ratings & reviews being submitted by your users, you may find that certain issues or questions come up quite often. You can then choose to create a blog post on the subject, or add it to your FAQ section. This is yet another way that incorporating ratings and reviews into your eCommerce website can assist you in providing a level of customer service that is unmatched in your industry!

How it Works

It’s a simple concept that can yield powerful results. As long as the customer is a registered user, they can easily leave comments on specific product pages giving their honest feedback and opinions on the product. Once submitted by your customer, product reviews and ratings are moderated by you or your webmaster and appear on product pages as soon as they are approved by a site manager, offering you complete control over what user generated reviews and content does and does not appear. Here is how it works:

  1. Customers can simply click on the “Product Rating” link located directly below the item information. 
  2. Customer is able to give rating 1-5 stars (this is not a required field) 
  3. Review must be given a Title.
  4. The customer can write a detailed review.
  5. More information is gathered about how long ago the product was purchased.
  6. They must specify if the item they’re reviewing was purchased from this site or from another.
  7. An email is automatically generated that notifies the site administrator that there is a new comment to approve.
  8. Then the site administrator logs into their account and navigates to Catalog, and then Reviews where they can view, approve, or delete the comment that was made.
  9. Product review is posted prominently on your product listing.

What to do with Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can be omitted for a very specific reason: they are often due to misuse or misunderstanding of a product. Not including a negative comment does not mean it should be ignored, it can instead be used as a way to demonstrate a high level of customer service and attentiveness to the issue at hand. Respond to customers that leave negative comments and do whatever you can to resolve the issue and who knows, they may end up leaving a positive comment instead!