As all users of online marketplaces will know, when consumers buy an item on eBay, they are able to rate their experience with the seller, and these ratings are then added to the seller’s overall feedback and conglomerated and averaged to determine the seller’s overall performance.

This week, Velocity Commerce’s eBay shop, velocityelectronics, reached the milestone of over 200,000 feedback. Hitting the 200,000 feedback is a huge achievement for an eBay seller, but why are customer reviews so valuable when it comes to selling online?

According to research 90% of online consumers say they are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product. It has also been reported that young shoppers, typically aged 18-24, on average, expect at least 200 product reviews on products as this allows them to fully research products before purchasing.

For many consumers, reviews are the factor that make or break a purchase decision, due to consumers valuing authentic peer recommendation over detailed product specifications and advertising. Consumers use reviews to understand how a product will work for the job or context they are looking to use it. Reviews are used as research to test the viability of a product and are offered as authentic reassurance to buy. In addition to research, consumers are also able to use reviews to judge the credibility of a business. Customers are craving knowledge from first-hand experiences; therefore, positive reviews further encourage consumers to trust what they are reading, and to follow through with a purchase.

As well as helping to influence purchasing decisions, customer reviews can also increase the visibility of products on search engines. The more reviews that a product has, the better optimised the listing will be, delivering cut-through which is crucial in crowded categories.

So, how do brands ensure they are generating these reviews that are so important for making a sale? Consistent and user-friendly customer engagement techniques are key to motivating happy customers to leave positive reviews. Velocity prides itself on all reviews being genuine and also advises how important it is that all reviews are responded to nurture positive dialogue with customers. One of the methods Velocity Commerce employs is to encourage consumers to leave feedback on products via proactive follow up emails – where someone might be overjoyed with a product, it is easy to forget to leave a review without a gentle reminder.

A recent study found a full 42% of companies don’t survey their customers. But, as well as increasing your chance of a sale, customer feedback is also an important tool to gain insight into what can be improved with a  product. Where customer satisfaction scores and market research about products can go some way in helping brands to analyse and improve their offering, the best way to grasp an understanding of what consumers think is by encouraging them to leave feedback. Feedback doesn’t need to just be about the purchase, it can also be a channel for consumers to leave comments about the shopping experience that is offered. After all, the best way to ensure you are receiving five-star reviews is to improve on information given in a four-star review.

Here at Velocity Commerce, we appreciate all of the reviews that we received because they help us improve our business and allow us to engage with our customers in more ways than one. We look forward to the next 200,000 feedback.

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