Solatrust—Customer Reviews and Star Ratings

Take a moment and think about how life was before the internet, picture how people would search through the yellow pages and auto club guides to find the best service providers.

They were the most trusted bibles for products and service providers; and a good or bad star rating in the auto club guides could make or break a business.

Sounds like ancient history? Well, the traditional reviews and star ratings don’t belong in the past anymore—prepare for a serious comeback inform of consumer reviews and star ratings.

It turns out that customer reviews are now significantly essential for shoppers as well as e-commerce sites. 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business and making any purchase decision.

According to a past study by BrightLocal, 88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is mind boggling considering that most customer reviews are posted by total strangers. The same study also found out that only 12 percent of the people did not frequently read online reviews for consumer products.

What these findings mean is that ignoring user reviews as a potential marketing possibility or not providing them is akin to isolating 88 percent of your potential buying audience, depriving them of valuable information they need to make informed buying decisions.

Importance of Ratings & Reviews

We’ve all read numerous positive recommendations about the value of user reviews for online businesses, and more emphasis doesn’t really need to be made, though I’ll make it again, anyway.

Consumer reviews are proven sales drivers, and the first thing majority of potential customers want to see before making the decision to purchase. User reviews are great for SEO, and can be used for navigation especially on product pages. Bad reviews are also valuable, and are also significant to any marketing campaign.

Though consumer reviews range in comprehensibility and thoroughness, they really hold an influential effect on the behavior of your audience—and ultimately your brand’s performance.

Quite simply, customer reviews increase sales conversions. They help eliminate the doubts that potential consumers may have about a given product, or enhance product selection.

By now, it’s obvious that online or user reviews are critical, but how helpful can they be to a marketing campaign? Can they make or break a sale, and can the quality or quantity of the reviews received have a big impact on your business’ bottom line? Keep reading!

On-site Ranking Benefits

The number of online customers who read and trust user reviews is on the rise. Hence, enabling consumer reviews on your website or having them on other Ratings & Reviews sites like Yelp,  ASQ-TrustScore and Trip Advisor can have powerful positive effects on your business’ organic search rankings in search engines.

Every new user review written about a product or service on your website boosts the volume of content your website provides on your offers, meaning you’ll be perceived as having more authority, relevance and as such greater chances of getting the pages ranked more highly.

If that’s not enough, you can actually microformat the reviews on your website so Google GOOGL -0.28% can directly index them and mark them as possible “rich answers” for consumer queries. Seemingly, this would allow your product’s review to be featured way above the normal search results for queries that are specific to the products in question; hence giving you more search visibility.

Bad reviews are useful too…

All user reviews are valuable, and a combination of positive and negative reviews can help improve customer trust in every opinion they read.

A previous stat from Reevoo suggested that the presence of bad reviews can improve conversions by 67%.

Reevoo found that those that search for and read bad reviews often convert better, because as they pay close attention to reviews they are more likely to enter the purchase mode.

The study further revealed that 68% of customers trust user reviews more when they have both good and bad scores, whereas 30% suspect faked or censored reviews when they fail to see negative opinions on the page.

Too many bad reviews not good for business 

It’s worth noting that the benefits of bad reviews hugely depend on the proportion of good to bad. The negative reviews make the positive ones look more trustworthy, however there’s a time when they raise alarm for consumers.

For instance, if a product page has 30 reviews of which four are negative, then the other 26 will look trustworthy. If that fraction changes, that becomes a different matter.

According to a previous research from Lightspeed, between one and three bad customer reviews could be enough to deter most (67%) shoppers from buying a product or service.

In Conclusion

Indeed, there are many Australians that review products online, and there’s no shortage of users ready to provide their opinions. Consumer reviews play a crucial role, but there should be a place for independent ratings. We like leaving reviews too.

ASQ-TrustScore is a star rating system in the solar industry and the no. 1 thing to look out for before purchasing a solar system. Companies particularly in the energy industry can embrace this technique to improve their reputation through Solatrust.

Do you use star ratings when choosing a solar system? Can a good or bad star rating make or break a retailer? Leave a comment below.

The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.

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