Negative Reviews Ecommerce
At some point, every online retailer will receive critical feedback. Reviews are subjective, and what one customer perceives to be excellent service, another may find unsatisfactory – that’s just human nature. What many online merchants don’t realise is that this critical feedback can bring advantages to online shops and shouldn’t be deleted. Here’s why:
 

If your reviews look too good to be true, they probably are

 
customers trust reviews more good bad scores
According to Econsultancy, 68% of customers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad feedback scores1. Customers expect to see a small amount of critical feedback when they search for reviews; so if an online shop only has positive reviews, customers might think that critical feedback has been hidden by the shop. If there is a small amount of critical feedback alongside mostly positive reviews, customers are far more likely to believe that the good reviews are real and have not been faked, since they will think that all of the reviews are genuine.
 

Customers value honesty from online shops

 
One of the main reasons that online retailers collect reviews is to increase customer trust levels in their shop. Online shopping is a largely dehumanised process, so customers often turn to user generated content to judge for themselves whether they can trust the online shop that they are considering ordering from. In fact, consumer reviews are 12 times more trusted than manufacturer descriptions2. Customers value honesty and transparency and appreciate that, in moderation, mistakes can be made. However, if customers suspect that negative feedback has been hidden, they won’t judge you to be an honest retailer and will purchase from elsewhere.
 

Keep your reviews under control

 
Social Media Reviews
If a customer writes a negative review and then finds that it has been deleted by the shop in question, they are going to be upset. It is fairly likely that they will then re-post the review on other social media platforms and tell their friends to stay away from the shop in question. It’s always better to keep the bad reviews on a platform where you are able to control them – ie, your own review page. That way, you are able to respond to the review with a comment, explaining what went wrong and how you went about resolving the issue to any potential customers reading the review. If the review is posted on social media, you have no way of controlling it or responding to the comments, which will have worse effects for your online shop.
 

Take the opportunity to provide great customer service

 
Negative reviews are a chance to show customers that you care about them and their feedback. At some point, pretty much every shop will receive negative feedback, but by taking the time to resolve the problem for the customer, you can offer excellent customer service. Customers want to be shown that their problems are taken seriously by the provider, and potential customers want to see how problems are dealt with if something should go wrong. What’s more, turning a bad experience into a good one for a customer is a sure way to gain repeat customers.
 
negative reviews increase conversions
Still not convinced? According to Revoo, the presence of negative feedback increases conversions by 67%3. Of course, a high number of critical reviews will act as a deterrent for potential customers, but in moderation online retailers stand to benefit from negative reviews, which can tremendously increase customer trust in their online shop.
 
 
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1. Econsultancy
2. eMarketer
3. Econsultancy / Revoo
4. Image 1: Social Media Icons Copyright Sean MacEntee

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