By now, unless you’ve been spending the vast majority of your time hankering around the Gobi Desert, sans internet, you’ll have noticed the abundance of ecommerce sites that have sprung up, especially in emerging market regions. There’s no disputing it, ecommerce is a booming industry, and if the latest stats are anything to go by, we can assume that it’s going to develop into even bigger and better things over the next few years.
An interesting success story around ecommerce is in South Africa. To give you an idea of just how successful it’s proven to be so far, let’s take a look a few of the latest ecommerce stats (courtesy of stats curators at Heavy Chef):
Clearly ecommerce is the way forward for many, especially for those who aren’t able to or who don’t get the chance to shop at traditional retail stores. Or for those who can’t stand the thought of trudging through shop after shop in the vague hope that they’ll find the specific product they’re looking for. I, for one, fall into the latter group.
If ecommerce is anything, it’s highly convenient, but the one vital factor that it tends to lack is customer engagement. Before they buy anything, your customers want to know as much about your product as possible, and unfortunately your own write up might not be enough to persuade them to part with their hard-earned money.
The online customers of today are switched on and informed. They want to read what other people have to say about your products or services and what their experiences have been. Here’s what a report from eConsultancy had to show about customer reviews:
Potential buyers aren’t just looking for good reviews however, because let’s face it, if all reviews were positive, they’d start to wonder if they were legitimate. In support of this, it’s interesting to note that a study by Reevoo revealed that 30% of consumers suspect fake reviews if there aren’t any negative reviews to be read. The same study reported that bad reviews actually help improve conversions by 67%, so don’t be afraid to publish negative reviews, especially if it’s going to influence potential buyers into making a favourable decision. It’s clear that a healthy mix of positive and negative feedback helps improve consumer trust.
Here are a few more vital stats from the Reevoo report:
But how can you encourage your customers to write reviews? Forget ‘canned’ testimonials or promises of incentives and discounts, which can quickly leave you short. Simply ask them to take a moment of their time to share their product experience with you. According to a Marketing Charts survey, the main reasons customers gave for writing reviews were:
So try appealing to your customer’s sense of ‘goodwill’ and tell them that you really do want to use their feedback to help better your products, services and customer engagement, because it’s clear that offering this feature on your ecommerce website, and being honest about the feedback, is a win-win situation for both you and your customers.