The online marketplace can be a pretty scary place for consumers these days. With so much choice from brands they both know and don't, scam sites and fake designer goods, trust has become more important than ever. Today we're showing you how customer reviews can give your trust a boost and fill your customers with confidence in your products and services.

First thing's first - in order to build trust with reviews, the reviews themselves need to be trustworthy. How can you achieve this? By using a Google Licensed Review Partner, like Reviews.io, or a service such as Google Customer Reviews.

Both of these will require reviews to be verified with a proof of purchase. This helps to 'sort the wheat from the chaff' and make the reviews for your business more reliable and trustworthy for your potential customers.

Still not sure this will make online reviews trustworthy enough for potential customers? Here are a few stats that might change your mind:

88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations

97% of B2B buyers said that reviews are more credible than other types of content

Online reviews are trusted more than celebrity endorsements

Now that we've clarified that online reviews can be trusted, it's time to see how they can help you build trust in your own business.

1. Reviews prove that you have customers

This may sound rather silly, but one thing reviews do is prove that you have successfully (or even unsuccessfully) provided services and products to other people.

If you are a relatively new brand or a smaller business, this can really help new customers who haven't shopped with - or perhaps even heard of - you before gain trust.

We've all heard horror stories about consumers who have paid for goods online that have never arrived. Verified reviews show legitimacy and make customers feel reassured and relaxed when shopping your site.

Without reviews, it's much less likely customers will buy from you. In fact, 63% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has reviews.

2. Shows that you are transparent

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Collecting reviews has certain risks. Whilst, when done properly, the positives definitely outweigh the potential negatives, bad reviews do happen. Companies that openly allow feedback, therefore, are confident enough in their performance to believe that they won't be burned by bad reviews. This self-confidence helps fill customers with confidence.

Additionally, putting customer feedback front and centre - whether good or bad - showcases an enormous amount of transparency, which helps to further build trust.

3. Information about your performance

Most of us have a bugbear when it comes to shopping online. Yours may be delivery; your neighbour's may be inaccurate sizing.

Whatever it is, it's likely to plant a seed of doubt in your mind when you shop. Reviews can help counteract this, as they usually provide additional details about specific areas of business performance.

Whilst you may already have information about shipping methods on your site, consumers know that what brands say and what they deliver, can sometimes be very different. Reliable information about the aspects of your service outside the normal parameters makes customers more informed. The more informed they are, the more confidence and trust they'll have in their decision to buy with you.

4. Responses show customer care

The best thing about reviews is that, even when negative, there's always a chance to save face. How? By replying to the review and turning it into a conversation.

We advise everyone not only to learn how to reply to reviews, but when to reply to them too. Get it right, and a review response can really increase the perceived trust in your brand.

Why? Because it shows you care. Review responses build trust by showing customers that they won't be alone or forgotten about. The better you do in your replies and the more after-sales care you offer, the harder this point will be hammered home.

5. Give customers a voice

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Last but not least is the empowering effect reviews can have on customers. Similarly to the way in which a review response helps customers realise they will not be alone if they have a problem, the ability to review alone helps them realise they can get their voice heard, should a problem arise.

When handing over their cash on an eCommerce site, it can be extremely reassuring to know that - if needed - they have the option to review your performance publically. It gives customers a bit of power, which makes them more inclined to 'have a punt' on your businesses.

In Summary

When it comes to building trust with customer reviews, it's important to first make sure the reviews you're collecting are credible. Be sure to respond to reviews to show that you are not only actively encouraging them but also willing to engage and learn from them.

Customers trust reviews for reason, and with many businesses now collecting, you'd better get on board or risk falling behind.

Want to start building trust with customer reviews? Head over to our website or jump on live chat with one of our advisors.