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Crossing the 4-Star Threshold To Grow Your Business

crossing the 4-star threshold to grow your business

How big is the difference between a 3.9 and 4-star rating? 

If you answered 0.1, you’re wrong. The correct answer is 20% – that’s the percentage drop you’ll see in your product sales if you dip below the 4-star line. 

Conversely, raising your rating from 3.9 to 4.0 can increase your traffic by 100%. When someone wants to know how good any particular product is, the first thing they will look for is how many stars it has. 

Having a higher star rating gives your product a competitive advantage over competitors that don’t. This is the case with more premium-priced products, but even more so with lower-priced products that operate on lower margins and are typically very similar to rival products – the rating can be the clincher here. 

Having higher ratings will also improve your search visibility – most platforms will favor players and products with higher ratings in their search results. In a crowded market, this is gold dust. 

With higher ratings comes higher flexibility on pricing. 

A product that has 4-5 stars has more upwards wiggle room in terms of pricing. Be careful though, moving too far on price can easily put people off – especially on budget products whose demand is highly sensitive to price changes. On premium products, though, high-quality customer feedback may well let you squeeze another dollar or two out of every purchase. 

Simply put, making investments in the parts of your business that will positively impact product ratings is setting your business up for success in the future.

How much do ratings matter really?

Today, ratings and reviews are the most important factors when consumers make purchasing decisions, according to a 2021 survey by Power Reviews. 

Virtually all shoppers, over 99.9%, say that they read reviews when shopping online, and nearly the same amount – 98% – feel that reviews are crucial when assessing buying decisions. If recent trends are anything to go by, it seems the only thing stopping these figures from rising further is that there is no more space for them to grow. As recently as 2018, only 89% of people thought that reviews were essential, now it’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t think so. 

According to Go Fish, dropping from a 4-star to a 3-star rating will result in a drop of nearly 70% in trust – from 96.3% to 28.7%. Even more than half of those shopping in brick-and-mortar stores will read a review before buying something in person. Additionally, more and more people are actively looking for sites to buy from that have product reviews. 

Star ratings are not all-powerful, though. If they don’t come accompanied by some review content, just over half of people don’t take them at face value. However, for most people, all it takes is 2-3 negative articles in your search results to put you off making a purchase – they can get over one, but if they start adding up, it can bring that buyer journey to a sudden halt. 

How much do ratings matter really?

Source: Pixabay

It’s important not to disregard the negativity bias – people expect the product to be good anyways, which is why nearly half of shoppers are initially suspicious of products with an average of five stars What people are on the lookout for, therefore, tends to be the extent to which things are reviewed badly.

A study using eye-tracking showed that negative comments commanded far more of a reader’s attention than positive comments, an effect that also tends to correlate stronger with female consumers. What this means is that one-star reviews will weigh heavier in a shopper’s head than five-star reviews. The vast majority of shoppers – some 96% – will sometimes actively seek out negative reviews.

Age will also be a factor here – different age groups will be more likely to seek reviews at different price points. Not surprisingly, at lower price points – up to $100 – the youngest age group of 18-24 will be the most likely to look at reviews. For anything above $100 in value, the 25-40 age range is the most review-hungry. 

How can I get a bump on my star rating? 

The bad news is that there is no one silver bullet. Remember that reviews don’t limit themselves to just the product itself, but will often be based also on the experience the customer had with you. Every customer-facing function of your business – as well as the supporting non-customer-facing side, may well be reflected in the reviews people leave. 

If you start racking up negative reviews, your sales will suffer, your reputation will suffer, and your bottom line will suffer. You must raise them and maintain them – but how do you do that?

  • Accurate descriptions
    Of course, the product itself needs to be at least as good as advertised. Make sure you get accurate descriptions so the customer gets no nasty surprises, and to the extent that you can, use high-quality images and video.
  • Transparency
    Being upfront about any potential problems you’ve identified that might affect the customer down the line is essential. The idea is to leave as little as possible to the imagination and leave as small an opportunity for surprise as possible.
  • Quality control
    One thing is making sure that your product descriptions are accurate, but you also need to make sure that the products themselves are good. Partner with consistent, high-quality suppliers, and put quality checks in place to regularly assess your inventory.
  • Ask for reviews
    There’s nothing wrong with soliciting reviews from customers (just don’t be too pushy about it). You can send customers requests for reviews and ratings shortly after they receive the product. When you do, if you can, try to frame the request positively. For example: “if you enjoyed the product, please leave a review!” puts the notion in the reader’s mind that this is something they should do if they have something good to say. 
  • Analyze feedback
    Keep track of negative feedback you get and analyze the reasons why. You may discover a trend or feature that you had not thought of before – maybe something as simple as the material around the collar of a coat being too itchy – that might swing things back in the right direction.
  • Get your customer service on point
    Respond to customers as quickly as possible, be empathetic, take responsibility where needed, and make them confident that they are your priority. Remember that replacements are less harmful to your business than straight returns. Just think how many times you’ve read a review that starts with how shoddy the product was, but then ends with how unhelpful the customer service was. An otherwise 3-star product can easily be pushed down to 2 or even 1-star if they feel neglected or disrespected by the seller.
  • Track the 4-star range
    Keep an inventory of which products are dancing around the 4-star threshold so you know where to focus your efforts most effectively.

Those last two points, in particular, are where Onsite can help. Onsite will comb through every product your business sells, catalog each of their star ratings, and will go through it with you and show you each one that is just on the brink of either passing or falling below that 4-star mark.

Given that going over that threshold can result in a 20% increase in revenue for each of those products – or a 20% decrease if it goes the other way – the cumulative effect of having potentially hundreds of products in that range can make a real and impactful difference on your bottom line. 

Onsite’s “get product support” button will also help you keep the rating up by giving your customers the ability to troubleshoot their problems autonomously on a landing page they can access directly from their order page. Loading up the landing page with resources like product guides, tutorials, and manuals will enable them to find the solution to the problem themselves, failing which they can also quickly and easily get in touch with you through the same platform to seek help. 

This all maximizes your chance to get ahead of customer frustrations before they leave a review, which would otherwise likely be a negative one. 

Reach out to Onsite today to see how your business can benefit. 

Source from Threecolts

The information set forth above is provided by Threecolts independently of Alibaba.com. Alibaba.com makes no representation and warranties as to the quality and reliability of the seller and products.

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