In the world of eCommerce, validity is key. When you’re in the business of online transactions it’s vital to have a platform that users can trust, especially when they are required to input their personal and financial information in order to complete a purchase. So, how do you create a system that gives people the confidence to give you their money? You have the people themselves validate your platform with customer reviews and testimonials.
Customer reviews fill two major voids in the validation process: they confirm the seller (if the online store allows vendors to sell on the platform) and the platform itself. We’ve all been there before, searching online for that right product at the right price, and the majority of us will check reviews before committing to a purchase. Reviews are created by buyers, giving potential buyers peace of mind that the seller is genuine and will deliver the correct product in a timely manner, or that the seller may be fraudulent and is someone to steer away from. However, be cautious when checking reviews because not every website offers verified buyer feedback.
When reviews are based on transactions, you can be sure that the person submitting the review is an actual customer commenting on their actual experience. On the flip side, open reviews open a can of worms for fraudulent feedback, both positive or negative, from the associated corporation itself or its envious rivals. If Business A is new to the market, more often than not they’re competing with other businesses and fighting in the same space for market share. With an open review system, there’s nothing stopping Business A from going online and submitting fifty five-star reviews about themselves. There’s also nothing stopping Business B, C, or D from leaving negative reviews about Business A, as a way to deter new traffic and to keep consumers from purchasing. The issue with an open review system is that it inadvertently allows potential buyers to view reviews that aren’t factual, when they are seeking genuine feedback on which to base a purchasing decision.
Testimonials are also extremely important to an eCommerce platform. Like customer reviews, testimonials allow new users to read about the experience of their peers before trusting a platform and committing to buy. However, just like reviews, testimonials can also be “planted” by the host system. If you read a review and it doesn’t sound like something a customer would write, and the image of the person is a stock photo of someone who looks suspiciously like a model, you might want to think twice before believing it.
On your own site, be sure to validate your testimonials, include REAL pictures of the customer and the product purchased and the dates of the transaction.
So remember, the best way to validate your eCommerce site is to have your customers validate it for you. Just make sure you do it the right way! Happy shopping everyone.