The Blog

Ecommerce Hint #9: Add Product Reviews to Your Site… And Don't Fear Negative Reviews!

A client of ours — www.PetWellbeing.com — sells natural herbal remedies for pets. They had long included customer testimonials in their product descriptions. Here's an example:

The fact that they didn't have a customer-facing, independently-moderated system led to two problems:

  1. Adding new testimonials was a lot of work, and therefore didn't get done frequently enough.
  2. Some customers probably doubted how representative or authentic the testimonials were, as they were clearly hand-selected by our client.

We recommended that they implement an independent customer review feature, using www.PowerReviews.com.

At first, the client was nervous about this. They knew they had great products, but were worried about what might happen if they got some negative reviews (possibly from competitors posing as customers).

We argued that the potential benefits greatly outweighed any risks. We also reminded them that although the reviews were collected and verified independently, our client did maintain “veto power” should they feel any particular review was grossly unfair, inaccurate and misleading.

Ultimately, the client agreed. So we went ahead and implemented their online review system.

The results have exceeded even our wildest expectations. In just a few short months, some products have received dozens of reviews… and they have been overwhelmingly positive. Here's a typical review page:

Most importantly, conversion rates of all products have increased… even those products that have received some negative reviews.

One negative review in particular was an issue. The reviewing customer, in addition to stating the product “didn't work”, came right out and said he thought the testimonials weren't real:

Our client, knowing the testimonials are genuine and not wanting doubt cast upon them, considered pulling this review. We discussed it, and ultimately agreed that by letting the review remain, we were in fact proving the reviewer wrong!

Embrace the occasional negative review. Consider it a wonderful opportunity to improve your credibility and gain customer trust. And as PetWellbeing discovered, you can take such improvements to the bank.

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