Reviews published on your online store boost buyer trust and drive conversion rates. That much we know as fact. But what is it that makes them such powerful trust signals - the platform you collect them through or their depth and authenticity? The results from our consumer survey are pretty clear - review quality matters much more than a recognisable trustmark.
There’s a lot of players in the eCommerce review space, and so a lot of solutions for you to choose from to support your growth. There’s also a lot of things to consider when you make that choice. Features, integrations, price, scalability, customer service - and for some brands - the size and market share of the provider.
As a relative newcomer. It's something we come up against a lot. Will your customers see reviews collected through us as credible? Or does using our platform over one of our better known competitors put you at a disadvantage? This is particularly true in the DACH region where we’re often compared to the more established brand Trusted Shops.
Many online retailers in this region feel they need to display the Trusted Shops trust badge for their reviews to have the desired impact, when in fact, there's a growing amount of evidence to suggest otherwise.
A German based business itself, Trusted Shops has been around since 1999 and to this day retains the biggest market share in the German eCommerce review space. But does its trustmark have a greater impact on conversion rates compared to a badge from REVIEWS.io - a relative newcomer?
Over the past couple of years, various partners of us tried to answer this question - and recently two different agencies have put it to the test:
PSY Commerce ran four A/B tests, displaying badges from both review providers on the homepages of brands in different industries. The results showed very little difference in conversion rates.
DRIP Agency ran the same A/B test for the brand Lotuscraft to help inform its decision to switch from Trusted Shops to REVIEWS.io. Again, the results proved that the Trusted Shops trustmark had little effect on conversion rates - in fact in this case there was a slight uplift with the REVIEWS.io badge displayed.
These tests both draw the same conclusion - a trust badge from a big name review provider does not send any greater trust signals than the equivalent from a modern player in the review space. So where do the conversion driving trust signals actually come from?
We wanted to find out, so we launched a consumer survey in the German market to hear what shoppers really look for in review content and what it is that gives them confidence in their purchase.
We’re not surprised that authenticity and verification of reviews is a top priority. Whichever review provider you choose you should always ensure they’re a reputable brand and that their collection practices are above board.
But with awareness of the review portal coming in fourth, it’s clear that purchase decisions are not particularly swayed by a recognisable trust badge, but more by the value the consumer finds in the review content itself.
The clear winner in our consumer survey, attributes are additional questions in a review request. They can relate to the customer, the product or the company and add that extra layer of detail that gives a review context.
They’re also a great way to address customer pain points around a product, like Lotuscraft does with its use of our attributes feature. Quality of material and the slip resistance of its yoga mats are the two top concerns in the purchase decision, so Lotuscraft asks its customers to rate these characteristics, removing that barrier to conversion. It’s an approach that’s brought a 7% increase in conversion rates.
Attributes are completely customizable, so you can tailor your review invites to suit the needs of your brand. As an added bonus, attributes are also a great source of zero-party data that helps improve the customer experience through personalization.
Whilst attributes add context to a review and remove concerns around a product, photos and video content bring reviews to life. They offer a visible product experience that a shopper can relate to and are far more influential than brand generated content.
In fact, there’s a 6x higher chance of conversion on product pages that contain visual UGC than those that don’t.
Our solution supports the collection and publication of photo reviews, video reviews and Instagram content through various tools, including our UGC Gallery and Publishing feature that lets you turn your authentic content into shoppable galleries.
The tests and surveys we’ve looked at here all support the same conclusion - an online reputation is not established through the display of a well known trust badge. It’s built through an effective review strategy that’s aligned with the needs of today’s consumer market.
At REVIEWS.io we keep up with current trends in purchase behavior so we can adapt our solution to suit - and give you the tools you need to drive your own business growth. This includes our Reputation Management feature, allowing you to collect reviews through us on platforms like Trusted Shops without the need for a contract with them.
Are you a Trusted Shops customer looking to switch? Or in the process of choosing your review provider? Check out our REVIEWS.io vs Trusted Shops comparison page.