The Power of Customer Testimonials for Ecommerce

The Power of Customer Testimonials for Ecommerce

Customer testimonials can be a powerful, conversion-boosting, profit-driving tool for ecommerce companies. There are many reports touting the impact of customer reviews and testimonials on consumer buying decisions. So what would happen if we took a lesson from the Principle of Consensus and simply included that information on the cards and said that 75 percent of our guests reuse their towels at some time during their stay, so please do so as well. Thus, if your potential customers are not sure about your ecommerce brand or the products your business sells, a testimonial may provide the consensus they need to make a buying decision. To stress the power of this sort of personal mantra, Wade, one of the assistant coaches, told a story which is paraphrased here. And as is always the case with practice, I got pretty good. The next season, as I was beating Rex at a local competition, he walked up to me just before the last target and said what he always said, “You’re doing pretty well, Wade, as long as you don’t blow it, you’ll win this thing.” But I repeated, “I am better than Rex Rosenbaum.” And that day I was. This short survey helps the company identify those customers who are the most likely to recommend the company and its products. There are people (Wade and Rex), places (a backyard and archery competitions), a purpose (to win those competitions), and a plot describing how Wade won. When the staff of the aforementioned electric bike company finds some of these elements present in a customer’s response, they call the customer and ask for a testimonial, which, for this company, is typically a three-to-five minute video.

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Customer testimonials can be a powerful, conversion-boosting, profit-driving tool for ecommerce companies. You just need to collect and share them.

There are many reports touting the impact of customer reviews and testimonials on consumer buying decisions. One of the most often cited is a 2012 Nielsen release. It stated that 92 percent of consumers trusted product recommendations from people they knew. Some 70 percent of respondents trusted online reviews of products even when they did not personally know the reviewer.

Happy customers can tell a story about your business and the products your business sells. That story impacts how potential customers think about your company, and may lead to additional sales. <em&gtPhoto: Lucas Sankey.</em>
Happy customers can tell a story about your business and the products your business sells. That story impacts how potential customers think about your company, and may lead to additional sales.

Photo: Lucas Sankey.

Principle of Consensus

The key principle driving the effectiveness of customer testimonials may be consensus. In this context, consensus is the idea “people will look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own…especially when they are uncertain,” according to the Influence at Work website in a description of Dr. Robert Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion.

“You may have noticed that hotels often place a small card in bathrooms that attempt to persuade guests to reuse their towels and linens. Most do this by drawing a guest’s attention to the benefits that reuse can have on environmental protection. It’s a pretty effective strategy, leading to around 35-percent compliance. But could there be an even more effective way?”

“Well, it turns out that about 75 percent of people who check into a hotel for four nights or longer will reuse their towels at some point during their stay. So what would happen if we took a lesson from the Principle of Consensus and simply included that information on the cards and said that 75 percent of our guests reuse their towels at some time during their stay, so please do so as well. It turns out that when we do this, towel reuse rises by 26 percent” to about 61 percent, again according to the Influence at Work site.

Thus, if your potential customers are not sure about your ecommerce brand or the products your business sells, a testimonial may provide the consensus they need to make a buying decision.

Empathy

Personal testimonials or stories are a common way to communicate ideas. They are the parables of old, and they work because the listener or watcher can empathize with the storyteller and imagine taking similar action.

I recently attended my son’s high school wrestling practice. The head coach was describing the power of positive thinking to his team. He wanted the…

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