Despite coming from a services background, I like to draw influence from other disciplines, such as e-commerce, when developing new customer acquisition strategies. Recently I have been exploring social commerce – which Wikipedia describes as “the use of social media in e-commerce”. What I am particularly interested in is user-generated content (UGC), such as product reviews, and gaining a better understanding of how customers talk about the brands I work for. Why? This level of interaction allows me to produce better campaigns, create better copy and increase onsite conversion rates – which make a significant contribution to the bottom line.
- Customers want and trust product reviews. According a Nielsen survey, 70% of consumers place some degree of trust in consumer opinions posted online – just one per cent more than editorial content such as a newspaper or magazine article.
- The use of product reviews can contribute to:
- Lower product return rates
- An ability to assess popular products that give customer satisfaction
- An ability to feedback into research and development (and monitor product defects which can be feed back to the producer)
- It’s good for SEO – generates more keyword rich content as well as the natural language used by customers including misspellings and abbreviations
- It provides excellent brand and product data that influences marketing and business decisions
There is nothing worse than people talking negatively about your product or brand and as an organisation not being aware of it. This is a key benefit from engaging in Social Media – it allows you to respond or react accordingly. In short it allows you to manage the situation and to better manage the sales process. If we take the assumption a significant proportion of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase as they seek a comfort factor before making a commitment, then by providing customer reviews on your own website – or using feeds to draw these reviews to your own site – you are proactively keeping users on your site and within your sales funnel and thus increasing a tendency for conversion.