As always, I spent a few hours this week perusing the internet to see what new trends are emerging in marketing, consumer behaviour, and online reviews. A lot of it is just confirmation of what I already know but I will always read something that puts what we do at NoCowboys into perspective and affirms everything I believe about the power of online reviews.

An article published on Forbes in the US a few days ago examined a study that analysed the cart conversion rate of global online shoppers. The numbers were staggering. “Salesforce recently released the Q1 2021 Shopping Index that highlights digital shopping trends based on the analysis of 1.2 billion shoppers making 22 billion digital commerce visits representing 51 countries. According to the report, the global cart abandon rate in Q1 was 87%, and the global mobile abandon rate was 93% — including a 94% mobile abandon rate in the U.S.” (Source: “How Revenue Can Increase Through Reviews,” by Paul Irwin, 25 May, 2021, Forbes).

What that means is the vast majority of online shoppers abandon the sale before proceeding to the checkout. But what is it that spooks them? They have come to the site, picked out goods to purchase, and then decided to go no further. So what is missing? As someone who has done exactly the same thing, I know exactly what that missing ingredient is – independent reviews.

“Among those factors emerging over the past 18 months is the impact of reviews on the checkout experience, with one BrightLocal study showing that 87% of people read reviews and 79% trust them as much as they would a personal recommendation. Online retailers are quickly realising the power of validated, independent reviews on the bottom line. In fact, a recent Northwestern University study suggests that having at least five quality product reviews can increase the likelihood of purchase by 270%.

“Humanity is driving our collective reliance on reviews. Consumers believe each other’s opinions and seek out advice and recommendations from peers. It only makes sense that, according to research by HubSpot, 81% of consumers trust the advice of friends and family over businesses. When making a final buying decision, people are influenced by any combination of conversations with friends, family, reviews and experts — whether online, in the store or in the backyard. (Source: “How Revenue Can Increase Through Reviews,” by Paul Irwin, 25 May, 2021, Forbes).

And that’s it right there – independent reviews, not just ones thrown on the site with a name and no sense whatsoever if they are real or not. 

So what got me thinking was the reviews that the majority of businesses publish on their websites and what a waste of time they are. More than that, they are an opportunity missed and customers lost. They have no provenance and thus little value. Independent reviews, from authenticated review platforms like NoCowboys are a different proposition entirely.

Business owners with websites spend time and sometimes too much money through Google Adwords to entice potential customers to their sites and its essential to then turn them from prospects to a customers. Linking to or displaying independent reviews boosts those numbers substantially.

“However, retailers and brands looking into aggregating reviews for online shoppers must do it correctly. To start this journey, it’s vital for retailers and brands to ensure that the reviews they aggregate are provided by people and sources that customers trust. Where the reviews come from is important; however, it’s even more important for them to be relevant to the customer’s preferences. They must also ensure that the information in the reviews is accurate and authentic.” (Source: “How Revenue Can Increase Through Reviews,” by Paul Irwin, 25 May, 2021, Forbes).

We have many businesses that display their NoCowboys reviews on their sites – it speaks to transparency and creates trust and it’s not difficult to do.