Today’s customers have an important tool at their disposal to aid their every buying decision: product reviews.

Reviews can easily sway a customer’s decision when they’re researching a product. Many e-retailers know their stores should have product reviews, but aren’t reaping as many benefits as they should be. Customer word of mouth is a powerful tool that e-retailers need to use to their advantage whenever possible.

Here are four ways product reviews help your business:

Higher Conversion Rates and Better Chance to Upsell

Customers read reviews because they want to see what other people think of the product they are considering. If a product has poor reviews, customers are less likely to give it a chance. Favorable reviews have the opposite effect as they boost your conversion rates. What kind of boost am I talking about? These product review stats tell an intriguing story:

  • When comparing two similar types of products from a high-end retailer, researchers found the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270 percent greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews.
  • There was a 190 percent lift in conversion rate for a lower-priced product featuring reviews and a 380 percent boost in conversion rate for a higher-priced product featuring reviews.
  • Purchase likelihood is optimum when a product achieves a four to 4.7 rating out of five. Products that are in the 4.7 to five range can create a sense that the product is too good to be true.
  • Verified buyer reviews are usually more favorable. The average star rating from verified buyers is 4.34 out of five while the average star rating from anonymous reviewers is 3.89.

Reviews Could Show a Product Flaw

No e-retailer wants to see negative reviews about their products, but these poor reviews could reveal something that may be overlooked. If more product reviews are coming back with the same type of issue mentioned, it’s likley to be less about picky customers and more about a flaw in your product.

For example, if you were selling makeup in your e-commerce store and kept getting the same negative feedback about a specific eyeliner pencil breaking quickly, you need to address the issue with your supplier. The flaw in the product costs your e-business money in many ways. You are covering the cost to replace these products, the shipping costs associated with the return and allocating resources into your reverse logistics process. These hidden costs could be avoided if the flaw with the eyeliner pencil is addressed as soon as possible.

Product Reviews Improve SEO and Click-Through Rates

SEO-friendly e-commerce stores lead to more website traffic. When more traffic is flowing to your store, you have a better chance of converting leads. Product reviews can complement your SEO efforts. But merely having reviews isn’t enough. According to Blue Stout, even if you have product reviews, you still need to signal to Google what information you’d like it to index. Additionally, by structuring your reviews in a user-friendly way, the more likely consumers are to engage with them, which will help your SEO for the given product page.

Once you have the reviews, you have to amplify them. According to one study that compared the success of Facebook ads that included customer content with those that didn’t, ads with reviews had:

  • 300 percent higher click-through rate
  • 50 percent lower cost per click
  • 50 percent lower cost per acquisition

Builds Trust and Loyalty with Customers

Every e-retailer wants to build their customer loyalty because repeat customers spend 67% more on average than those who are new to your business. They are also cheaper to acquire than new customers. Reviews can help earn that trust and loyalty because 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Part of the reason customers leave reviews is that they want their voice to be heard. If you improve one of your products because of a customer review, inform your client base. These kinds of actions build trust because patrons know you are reading what they say. This will go a long way toward turning one-time buyers into loyal customers.

While product reviews can help your business in more than these four ways, these areas can help improve your brand image, increase your site traffic, make your operation leaner and win loyal customers to aid long-term growth. What e-retailer isn’t spending countless hours trying to make all that happen?