Negative Reviews: How Should eCom Brands Respond?
Any brand's reputation relies on the feedback of its consumers, and most eCom brands have at least a few measurable sarcastic and derogatory reviews across Amazon, Big Basket, Flipkart, or other ecom stores. As per Statista, 48% of fashion consumers in India purchased a product after seeing reviews and ratings.
On the other hand, another survey revealed that 36% of ecommerce shoppers have stated that their low online product ratings were rejected, whereas 30% of the buyers couldn't say if they were rejected/accepted. A major portion of negative ratings gets eliminated from the ecom store product listings, while a significant proportion of the buyers rely heavily on reviews and ratings, and impact of negative reviews' seems grave.
Although negative reviews paint a horrible picture in the consumer's minds, they also offer a positive edge, i.e., bring trustworthiness or genuineness to the product listings. Too many ratings and reviews with positive responses often make the consumers believe that the feedbacks are fake/influenced. According to a survey, 65% of consumers don't trust the product's ratings. Simultaneously, 68% of online shoppers consider reviews as valuable as recommendations and lay their trust in them.
Implications of Negative Reviews
A buyer reads at least ten reviews before trusting an online business. Moreover, 62% of eCommerce brands feel that their reputation is threatened by negative online reviews regarding products or services. Other major areas of concern for these brands include loss of revenue, diminished product visibility, decreased add-to-cart actions, low engagement, lower SERP, decreased consumer base, etc.
Also, some industries like fashion (mentioned above) depend upon reviews and ratings for conversions and can suffer heavy losses and overstocking issues. Here is a summary of the implication of negative reviews and ratings:
Reputation Damage: High number of negative reviews creates distrust of the brand and/or product. Also, recovering from a damaged reputation becomes a costly affair.
Decreased Revenue: According to a source, U.S businesses with 1 to 1.5- star Google ratings incurred 33% lower profit than others. Bad feedback leads to low trust and lower conversions.
Gives an Edge to the Competition: Customers often avoid products with negative reviews and ratings. They become tempted to opt for alternative or similar options.
Diminishes SERP: Google searches often show the best results with positive reviews and ratings. According to a source, product listings with negative feedback decrease their rankings on search engines.
Is There a Need to Respond to Reviews?
According to a source, consumers that read reviews also paid attention to the responses. While shopping for a product, buyers want to check if the brand values its customers and the actions the brand is willing to take in case of an issue related to the product or retailer. By knowing these facts, ecommerce shoppers can make appropriate buying decisions.
Moreover, responding to negative, neutral, and positive reviews enhances the brand's impression in the eyes of the consumers, as they can see the efforts they are making. Another perspective from a source is that 70% of consumers would become more willing to re-engage with a brand or retailer if there is a response to negative reviews.
Besides this, the Harris survey shows that 33% of buyers post a positive review if they receive a response to their negative feedback, and 34% of the shoppers delete their negative reviews. So, brands uphold the responsibility of responding to reviews as a priority, and most focus more on the reasons for negative and neutral reviews.
What Guidelines Should Brands Follow While Responding to Negative Reviews?
Negative reviews impact brand reputation and decrease the potential customer base and sales/revenue. Also, we have cleared that responding to reviews is necessary for brands. But, brands should follow a few guidelines religiously while responding:
Monitor Reviews & Ratings on eCom Stores and Social Media
The best method for knowing about the rising customer issues across Amazon, Big Basket, Flipkart, or other online shopping stores is through eCom Competitive Analytics or mScanIt. The solution helps to learn more about the customer experiences by highlighting the positive, neutral, and negative words commonly used under the reviews and ratings. Simultaneously, an extended solution of mScanIt is a deep dive into sentiment intensity, which tracks instances of brand mentions on the open web using AI, even when the brands are not hash-tagged. By using these solutions, brands can ensure that they can instantly view a spike in negative review intensity and reduce the response time using the insights provided on the mScanIt dashboard.
Customize Your Crafted Responses
Giving a bad response to pressing issues mentioned in reviews states that the brand is not diving deep into the buyer's concerns. Moreover, many customers would look for brands that give personalized responses, addressing their problems.
The easiest method to achieve this goal is to continue using the scheduled responses but customizing the responses. It would give the brand a good impression and increase loyalty/re-engagements. So, you should acknowledge the problem, provide assistance for addressing the concerns, and give assurance of response time & resolution.
According to Statista, 47% of customers from the U.S. and 59% of global shoppers have a favorable view of the brands if they respond to customers' complaints or service questions on social media.
Decrease the Response Time
Upset customers tend to share their experiences on social media platforms, aside from e-commerce's review and rating section. According to a source, consumers also wait for a response for their review for up to a week.
However, health and safety issues can cause dramatic issues and require quicker responses even while investigating the problem. Assuring an upset buyer that the brand is looking into the problem and will get back to the customer could diminish lawsuits and bad publicity.
Negative reviews will remain never-ending, as would positive or neutral ratings and feedback. Therefore, tracking customer experiences through social media and the e-commerce review & rating section has become crucial.
The best method for monitoring the brand or product reputation is through eCom Competitive Analytics, highlighting the commonly used words. Simultaneously, brands should address the customer's pressing matter through personalized and quick responses. By doing so, brands have a greater chance of improving their online reputation and resolving product-related issues.