If you’re a selling online, or a customer shopping online you know how impactful a customer review can be. A negative review can turn-away shoppers from your products, or you from using a service or buying a product. In the world of eCommerce more customer reviews mean more ROI for your business. Typically when the volume of reviews on your site increase, so does your store’s profile. It’s imperative in this sense that retailers provide a positive experience for all customers, to increase traffic and help drive sales.
This is all fine and dandy in the world of B2C, but what about B2B? At Demac Media we’ve been putting the focus on B2B and the change we’re seeing in buying behaviour within the marketplace. The B2B eCommerce market is growing exponentially and will continue to do so. This puts us eCommerce strategists and B2B sellers in a very unique position; in an industry that’s changing right before our eyes, should we rightly continue to implement the same “best practices” across the board? Is what’s working for B2C in the digital space worthwhile for your B2B business?
Particularly when it comes to customer reviews, B2B businesses are wondering if there is value in encouraging client reviews in the business-to-business buying process. This is a fair point of concern. We mentioned that customer reviews are a revenue driver for B2C retailers selling online, with 96% of retailers ranking customer ratings and reviews as an effective way to drive conversion – will this work for your B2B business? Well, B2B buyers are consumers and the methods that buyers are using to source new product have dramatically changed in the last 3-5 years, so you might find our answer surprising.
1. Generate Social Proof
According to MarketingProfs, 67% of consumers read 6 reviews or less before they feel they can trust a business enough to make a purchase. Reviews act as verification for customers who are shopping online, irregardless of whether their buying from a retailer, direct from manufacturer, or sourcing their needs from a distributor. Consumers seek this “social proof” online to feel as though a company and their product/service is trustworthy. This social proof can manage your reputation online, and act as a portfolio of client experiences.
2. Manage Your Reputation
Customer like having the option of leaving a review. If you aren’t providing them the opportunity to do so on your site, they’ll find another way to voice their opinion. Whether that’s on a third party review site or by distributing through their social accounts, your brand and your product/service will be talked about online. A large percentage of B2B buyers are searching online for peer reviews, because these reviews help them make a buying decision. Put the control of reviews in your own hands – of course, keep it honest and don’t fear bad reviews – by having clients keep the conversion on your site. This will help support your reputation, and help to drive traffic with SEO. A large majority of B2B buyers will search online when starting their discovery process, make sure your site and product reviews get found first.
3. Track and Advertise Your Client’s Success
Reviews can confirm the success clients have with your business. These positive reviews add purchasing incentive to visitors to your site, in an efficient way. What other way can you have your success communicated? Case studies are encouraged as an effective way to market your B2B business but can be a time-eater and cost-sink. Think about how much more information a client review can convey about your services and products. Case studies come at a higher cost and are only relevant for a short period of time as they’ll eventually need to be updated. Reviews can reach a mass audience in a quicker period of time to elevate the public perception of your company.
4. Help Your Business Stand-out
As your review content beings to proliferate online the more your site will begin to rank higher on search engine results pages. Most buyers will begin their search online with a keyword in mind. This means they are on the hunt for vendors, so if you aren’t ranking high enough through organic search you could be missing out on potential leads. According to Razorfish 61% of people rely on user reviews for product information or research before a buying decision is made. Your client reviews in a sense will act as advertisements for your business, directing leads to you, for free!
More Customer Reviews = More ROI, even for B2B
The eCommerce playing field has been levelled between B2C and B2B, and what works for one marketplace does in fact work for another. Client reviews will not only act as social proof for consumers, validating your business credentials and products, they act as a form of advertisement for your products and services (all for free!). B2B buyers are heading online to make important purchasing decisions in droves, make sure you are driving those buyers to your site by using client reviews to get ranked. Don’t miss out on the opportunity that the addition of client reviews can be to your business’s content marketing strategy. How can you get started with reviews? Well, simply reach out to your current customer to leave a review on your site, and never be fearful of a negative review. Prospects want to see balanced insights from your customers, presenting yourself as perfect will make you seem inauthentic. Honesty is the best client review policy. Reviews are an important resource for your B2B business, as they are now standard practice in the buying process, implement them to succeed online.