From a consumer’s standpoint, one of the disadvantages of buying from an ecommerce site is that there is no physical feedback. They can’t check out the quality of the store, interact with sales personnel, or handle products. Therefore, consumers tend to rely heavily on reviews when deciding whether or not to place an order with an ecommerce site. In a survey from Dimensional Research, 86% of the people who reported reading online reviews claimed that negative reviews influenced buying decisions. Positive reviews influenced 90% of the buying decisions.
Since online reviews can have such a big impact on an ecommerce site’s success, online reputation management is important. For small or new ecommerce sites, reputation management starts with actually establishing a reputation. Claim your business on popular review sites like Yelp and start encouraging your customers to provide feedback. Follow up emails are great way to get customers to review their recent purchases. You can cultivate some reviews to create a testimonials page for your website, or request customers send their reviews to third-party sites.
You should monitor what customers are saying and take action when problems arise. Bad reviews, even when posted on sites you are not affiliated with, can be a good thing. You can respond to negative reviews and offer to help consumers who were unhappy with a purchase. Even if they do not respond or change their review, other readers will see that you made an effort and are sincere in your customer service.
Really, good reputation management is good customer service. If you are good to your customers, you’ll have a good reputation. Make sure you consistently monitor reviews about your site on the web so you can learn from your mistakes and help customers who need it.