Building a robust eCommerce business requires implementing far-reaching eCommerce strategies. These strategies should include a complete SEO for your Shopify store, exhaustive inventory management tips, acquiring the right automation tools, increasing reviews, among others.
Your strategy, however, cannot exclude a solid well-thought-out social media plan!
Social media swelled rapidly to 3.484 billion active users in 2019, – translating into almost 45 percent of the global population.
The industry is progressing at a lightning speed and there’s no end in sight to its massive growth. According to an extensive new collection of Digital 2019 reports from Hootsuite and We Are Social, more than one million people are coming online for the first time each day since January 2018.
That’s pretty exciting for eCommerce businesses, right? With more people becoming digital and consuming social media products, more people are likely to buy online.
With users now spending more than an hour and a half on social media every day, merchants should know how to collect reviews from their customers via social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc to expand their reach and increase sales.
As a merchant, quite a number of your customers may say a lot of good things about your product on social media. Others too may give good reviews about your products on other platforms which you would want to showcase to your social media followers. But how do you achieve that?
This write-up will keep you on tap on how to use your social media reviews to grow sales and increase profit.
What are Reviews?
Before we even take a look at how you can leverage social media reviews to grow your eCommerce business, let’s look at what reviews mean:
We all might have purchased something based on a recommendation from a friend or a family member.
Same way, customers prefer to buy products whose quality is vouched for by others. These testimonies when collected and displayed on your store become reviews.
So in effect, reviews are real testimonials, comments, articles, etc that are written by shoppers about your product(s) or brand. These could be positive expressions from fulfilled customers or negative sentiments of frustrated shoppers. It usually comes in the form of a written testimonial or a star rating or both. It can sometimes be just a word of mouth.
According to a study, 97 percent of people read reviews for local businesses. It has also been shown that 93 percent of consumers are influenced by reviews when making a purchase decision. Hence, having reviews of your store(or products) leads to increased sales and revenue.
Reviews could be influenced by a number of factors such as the satisfaction of the use of a product, ease of buying a product from a store, or after purchase customer experience.
There are several means by which merchants can collect reviews from their customers and display them on their stores to attract new customers. You can refer to this blog post on five quick ways to increase reviews on your Shopify store.
Of the various ways to collect reviews from customers, social media features in a great deal.
Ways to Collect Reviews Through Social Media
With the global explosion and acceptance of social media, it has become easy for merchants to collect reviews from their customers.
Apart from collecting reviews from customers, merchants can also display their reviews on their social media pages to attract new customers, as well as delight existing ones.
There are tools out there that can help merchants like you collect reviews from your social media pages, and I will recommend the Kudobuzz Reviews app because of its simplicity.
The app makes it easy for merchants to collect all their social reviews sitting on their social channels like Facebook, Google, Yelp, Amazon and Etsy.
With the Kudobuzz Reviews app, merchants can make good use of all their unused social media reviews. It makes it easy to collect all your social reviews in one dashboard and then choose the ones you want to show off on your site through beautiful widgets.
Merchants can display these reviews on their social media pages or on any page potential customers visit on their store.
Apart from helping you to show reviews on your site, the Kudobuzz Reviews app can help your site perform better in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) using its simple and beautifully laid out MiniSEO feature.
How Social Media Reviews Can Increase ECommerce Sales
At this stage, you know that social media is very important for the success of your eCommerce business. Let’s look at how social media reviews can boost your eCommerce business.
To Build Brand Affinity for Products
Customers consider a number of things before making a purchase decision which includes whether she/he has a shared value with a brand or product. This shared value or emotional connection is what is termed as brand affinity. Sometimes, customers’ purchase decisions are based on emotional reasons than rational ones. Building brand affinity for your products would ensure customers develop an unflinching loyalty to a brand or product.
Building an affinity for your brand includes clearly defining what your brand stands for and its brand personality and selling this message to your audience on a consistent basis. For example, a car company may build an affinity for its brand by describing its brand of cars as being of the highest comfort, safety or being the most fuel-efficient. The company can then build a vigorous marketing strategy to associate these qualities with its brand of cars with time.
Social media provides a perfect platform to sell your brand affinity. Brand affinity leads to customer retention which literally means it leads to customers building loyalty to a brand. You should, however, note that building a strong brand affinity takes time.
Merchants can deliberately use their social media reviews to further highlight the affinity they want to build for their brand. For example, if a customer leaves a review on your social media page that requires a reply, merchants can use the opportunity to re-echo the values and strategic direction of the company they want to sell to their customers. Merchants may also share or reshare reviews that highlight the affinity they want to paint in the minds of their customers. Many customers will become loyal to your brand if you creatively use social media reviews to define the value the products are offering them.
To Increase Sales and Profit
The aim of every eCommerce merchant is to sell more. Selling more means your profit margin will also increase to help you offset all operational costs and make extra to keep a healthy business environment.
Social media constitutes an effective and powerful marketing channel. According to a recent survey, 75 percent of people admit to buying something just because they saw it on social media, whilst 90 percent of the respondents also say that they will turn to social media if they need help on a buying decision.
This means social media is not only effective in collecting reviews from customers, but it can also be a powerful platform to display reviews and attract new customers leading to more sales and ultimately more profit.
To Educate Customers
The world has evolved into a customer-centric era. This means merchants need to constantly pamper their customers with useful information in the form of content such as blog posts, vlog posts, webinars, etc to guide customers in their purchase decisions.
Social media reviews are also another form of information that educates customers and would-be customers about your products and their functions. For instance, if a satisfied customer reviews a product he/she bought and outlines some of the features of the product that he/she loves so much, it would serve as a piece of useful information or education to others who are contemplating buying your products.
To Understand the Needs of Customers
Having a deep understanding of your customers is a helpful way of coming up with products that answer their needs. When merchants diversify reviews across a variety of social media platforms, they would expose themselves to all audiences. This will help them to understand customers based on their reviews that are left about your products. Merchants can equally understand user patterns based on the reaction of customers towards reviews shared on social media pages.
For instance, if people constantly ask for a particular product in the form of a reply or reaction to reviews you share on your social media platforms, it will serve as a useful guide in informing you about whether or not to revise the range of products you sell.
Also, as a merchant, you can solicit reviews from your customers through social media from time to time. Based on these reviews, merchants would be able to better understand customer needs. Even though you may not always be able to satisfy all the needs of your customers, soliciting reviews from your social media pages can serve as a good gauge in your planning.
By understanding their needs, you will be able to craft helpful information that will build and strengthen your relationship with your customers. You instill loyalty in your existing customers by being responsive to their queries and concerns.
It’s Effective for Target Marketing
Depending on what you sell, it may happen that your target market is more centralized or can be found within a particular demographic group(s). With social media, merchants have the ability to carefully create a campaign based on unique demographics and interests such as age, gender or geological location.
In the same way, merchants can use reviews to target a particular demographic. If these reviews are shared on social media, merchants have the control to target which demographic they want to showcase these reviews to increase sales.
This ensures that merchants are able to effectively use the little resources at their disposal for maximum results.
To Showcase New Trends
To stay ahead of the competition, merchants need to stay alert and know about the latest trends other merchants in their industry are hopping on and also be ready to incorporate these new innovations into their strategy.
While social media is a great way for merchants to keep updated to new trends, social media reviews can also be used as a channel to showcase and inform your followers about new product trends you have in stock.
Customers always want to know about new product trends to guide them in their purchase decision. When you share reviews on social media pages about the latest model of your products, you’re empowering your customers to make an informed purchase decision. This also means that your brand would become the brand of choice when those who viewed the new trends you shared decide to make a purchase. This will surely lead to increased sales.
Social media provides that openness and access for merchants to easily follow their competitors and learn about what they’re doing, but it’s also a great way for merchants to showcase their own trends to attract new customers.
To Urge Out Competition
Marketing is a stiff competition and how you can position your brand or product as the best in the minds of your buyers. Therefore, if your competitors are not making good use of the reviews that come to them via social media, you will leapfrog them if you display your social media reviews in beautiful widgets to your customers. When that happens, there are high chances that more people would begin to rate your brand above your competitors. This would help you to beat all competitions and become a market leader in your field which would go a long way to impact positively on sales and in the long haul, profits.
In sum, the growth and success of your eCommerce business is directly linked with how you use your social media reviews. Effectively using these reviews would ultimately set your business above your competitors.
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