Online customer reviews will become a currency if leveraged effectively, according to Retail Week’s and Trustpilot’s webinar.

Consumers are able to have more direct conversations with retailers via reviews

This currency can help boost business bottom lines, according to panelists at the webinar, which highlighted how retailers can ensure online customer reviews work in their favour.

Watch the webinar

You can watch the Retail Week and Trustpilot Trust Economy webinar here.

It’s free to view, you just need to register.

Online reviews offer businesses the potential to generate 40% additional revenue each year, according to the findings of a survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers by online review-driven community Trustpilot.

The research also found that 77% of UK consumers using the internet will now look to online reviews before making their purchasing decision. Meanwhile, 62% of British consumers claim they are more likely to do business with a company after reading a positive review, with one in five spending at least 10% more with that same company.

Acknowledging the huge growth of the online review culture over the last few years and urging retailers to engage with reviews to ensure that they work in their favour, Tim Lamm, co-founder at label and poster print-on-demand online business Diginate said that online reviews are fast becoming a currency that can help retailers boost sales.

“We started collecting reviews about a year ago,” he said. “We thought it would be a good way to build up confidence in our product and crucially our online service to start getting feedback.”

Lamm explained that Diginate uses Trustpilot as an independent site for hosting its customer reviews, which have become an essential part of the purchase process. “With the advent of the sharing economy people are used to reviewing things continuously,” he said. “It is part of the transaction and helping people trust your business.”

Lamm recommended split testing to see where best to place reviews on a retailer’s website and found reviews to be effectively placed on the order summary page, where people make the final purchase. He said: “There it was producing, I think, a 10.93% increase in conversion, which is quite a significant amount. So even if you can raise your conversion by 1% or 2% by placing these reviews in the right place it is a huge difference to your bottom line. My advice would always be to split test it and place it in the best possible place on your website.”

Also speaking on the panel and reiterating the importance of engaging with online customer reviews, Charlo Carabott, co-founder and managing director at Mazuma Mobile said: “For us, reviews are used as a barometer of our success.” The phone recycling service shares its customer reviews and trust score with employees with posters around the building. “For our staff it is a nice barometer where they almost don’t wait for me to give them an appraisal, they get it from our customers, which is a nice thing.”

Ultimately reviews stop with Carabott, a reflection of how important reviews are to the company. Carabott said he looks at every negative review to help understand why they received it and ensure they get it right in the future. “Who better to tell you what’s good for your customer than your customers themselves?” he said.

Independent review hosting website Trustpilot helps arm retailers with the means to host reviews that the public know are genuine. Peter Holten Mühlmann, CEO of event sponsor Trustpilot, said: “We are giving retailers the tools to collect the feedback from customers in order to show that feedback and to win because they have the best service and are the best at what they do, and not because they have gimmicky marketing. I think that’s the customer service revolution we are seeing.”

Watch the webinar

You can watch the Retail Week and Trustpilot Trust Economy webinar here.

It’s free to view, you just need to register.