(PR.co.nz) New Zealand retailers are losing large amounts of online sales by refusing to include customer reviews as a feature of their websites. A recent survey shows that 65% of online shoppers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a website if it has product ratings and reviews (BazaarVoice). With 84% of consumer reviews being positive, retailers have little to lose by including product ratings and reviews on their online stores (2010 Consumer Shopping Habits Survey, Channel Advisors)
Frank Gilbert, managing director of leading New Zealand ecommerce company Solutionists, says they have noticed interestingly that negative reviews can actually encourage their clients’ customers to make purchase decisions. Negative reviews increase perceived authenticity of websites review systems and convince customers they have researched thoroughly enough to make a purchase decision, Gilbert says. In many cases negative reviews contain flaws that researching customers decide are irrelevant to their purchase anyway. However, for risk adverse retailers there are ratings and reviews modules, such as that developed by Solutionists, that have an automated moderation process, where website administrators are emailed every time a new review is posted to their website, allowing them to choose instantly whether to publish the new review, or not.
Solutionists sophisticated ratings and reviews module also allows online shoppers to give products an “out of 5” star rating, write a review, and rate the helpfulness of other customer reviews. Customers who make an online purchase will receive an automated email after a pre-set time period, prompting them to review the product/s they have bought. Solutionists consistently research and develop such modules in order to increase their clients’ traffic and sales, and to keep them competitive at an international level.
With a recent report conducted by the Australian Centre for Retail Studies and Monash University showing ratings and reviews to be the second most important influencer for online shopping, (after free shipping incentives) Gilbert says it is crucial for New Zealand retailers to invest in tools proven to increase online conversion rates, particularly with the strong New Zealand dollar directing a lot of online sales towards overseas competitors.
Solutionists is one of New Zealand’s leading ecommerce web development companies, specialising in world-class online stores for retailers.
Media Release 17 January 2011 from Solutionists Ltd.
Contact: Frank Gilbert – Director
DDI: +64 9 550 0276
P: +64 9 630 3074