Customer reviews for social trust to increase sales

Raphael Thiel —  August 24, 2012 — Leave a comment

Trust has always been one of the most important factors in the customer´s purchase decision process. That principle applies not only for retail stores.

This raises the question about which is the adequate resource to get the trust of a customer and which criteria the merchant should pay attention to.

Even as the e-commerce was still in its infancy, it was clear that this issue needs to be solved.

But how can customers detect the difference between a „bad shop“ and a professional merchant? And why gets amazon a pole position in e-commerce?

Meanwhile the complete e-commerce marked has changed

Now many customers are no longer uncertain consumers. They know their rights and have a variety of information and a lot of experience, especially through shopping platforms like Amazon & Ebay.

Does this mean, that the review have become useless?

Surely not!

Why do we still need a customer review?

The benefit of customer reviews is achieving high trust. As a result the conversation rate get optimized an sales increase.

You see, customer reviews are still useful.

In addition, there are other supporting factors, that have a positive effect on your SEO. Such as improving the visibility on Google and collecting more content.

Expert opinion versus customer review

First of all, it makes sense to have a look at the psychological perspective.

On one hand, there are customer reviews. These are opinions of customers, that are displayed in the form of the 5/5 star or/and written reviews. Depending on the application, users can review products or the whole shop. (In Magento the user can write a review directly for the bought product).

On the other hand, there are expert opinions. In this case, it´s not the standard customer, but a professional, who evaluate the product.

Numerous of tests and experiments repeatedly show, how much people orientate themselves to authorities like that.

The advertising industry has taken this advantage and advertises with people in lab coats and, for example, distinguishes products like toothbrushes with a doctorate.

Of course, customer reviews are not comparable with the content of regular advertising. But customer reviews speak to customers on the same level as supposed experts in advertisings.

The idea behind “social trust” is, that people have no advantage or disadvantage telling their opinion about a product they bought. You always get unfiltered information.

People trust in the independent and anonymous mass. The reason for „social trust“ is, that customers have no economic interests by writing reviews.


Negative and positive customer reviews

One of the biggest issues being a online merchant is, that you get low information about the feelings of a customer visiting your shop and the whole ordering process. The pure daily evaluation of Google Analytics data does not reflect the buying behavior of customers.

Here are just a handful of the most known issues:

  • How does a customer feel about the full order process?
  • Is your shop easy to understand?
  • Did he get his ordered product fast enough?
  • Get products damaged by shipping?
  • Did the customer get the product he ordered?
  • Is the quality of the product ok?
  • Did he get a bill?
  • Were there enough options for payment and shipping?
  • Is the information on product sites enough or is there an important information missing?
The big advantage of getting reviews is, that we can learn a lot from our customers.

A review doesn´t only inform about the product, it´s a tool to understand your customer and to optimize your business process!

In Magento all incoming reviews need to be administrated by hand, so you never loose the connection to your customers.

Customers need to reminded writing reviews

From experience we know, that many customers tend to report only bad aspects. Positive experience with the product or ordering process are taken for granted.

It´s important to encourage customers, especially in a positive impression, to give a customer review.

For this purpose we have developed the right Magento extension:


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