Struggling with your marketplace reviews and ratings? Three tips to achieve 5-star excellence

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How much focus do you put on managing not just your feedback but also your reviews across marketplaces? There is a school of thought which says responding to negative feedback simply highlights it, but increasing consumers are coming to accept that there’s no such thing as perfection and the odd negative feedback or review shows that you are real and that it’s how you respond to it that counts. Today, Derek O’Carroll, CEO, Brightpearl looks at how to manage your marketplace reviews and ratings and how to court 5 stars.

In increasing numbers, we are now turning to total strangers to read their customer reviews and ratings before buying online, and, if you operate on marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, you’ll understand the power and sway this type of feedback holds over potential customers.

A Brightpearl study reveals that 84% of shoppers now read online reviews and 46% check star ratings before committing to an online purchase. As connected consumers, we are also not as tolerant as we used to be. Our expectations and demands are far greater than ever before and we have a voice and many platforms – from social media to feedback forums on marketplaces – where we can express our dissatisfaction when we’ve had a poor experience. From the same report, almost two-thirds of us are now likely to leave a negative review following a bad experience; often in the form of 1-2 star reviews.

It is within this environment that some retailers admit that they’re losing grip on their online feedback. 50% of retailers think that poor reviews are getting worse and 38% admit that they do not know how to best deal with negative reviews. If you’re struggling with online ratings and reviews, here are three tips that will help you to improve your strategy and gain that five-star feedback:

Managing marketplace reviews and ratings

1. Use customer insights to identify pain points

What are the common themes behind your poorest feedback? It is crucial to use your marketplace reviews and ratings as valuable insight into the areas of the customer journey that require improvement. Indeed, negative reviews should be viewed as an opportunity to improve, not a threat.

However, to do that, you must be able to actively determine the specific stages where customers are evaluating and talking about their experiences and whether there are gaps or issues that need to be addressed. Collecting consumer insights with reviews – including both the gaps and what is working well – can help you map out an ideal customer journey which creates a better user experience for everyone, from awareness to purchase and advocacy.

2. Embrace and engage bad reviews – quickly

It’s so important to respond quickly whenever you receive negative marketplace feedback. Brightpearl’s study reveals that more than 30% of customers expect a response to a complaint within 24 hours. Responding to bad reviews is a great way to show new customers how much your business cares, and can also turn a bad customer experience into a positive one.

Indeed, according to Brightpearl’s study, 95% of unhappy customers will return if a business has resolved their issue quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, a quickness and willingness to put things right when they go wrong could help build trust with other potential customers who are browsing your reviews as part of their buying consideration.

3. Enhance your last impression – it matters most

It goes without saying that you must offer outstanding end-to-end customer journeys – but the last impression counts the most. One of the most interesting aspects of the Brightpearl study is the revelation that it’s notably the level of service we receive that attracts the most vocal negative attention from customers – whether it’s items not arriving on time or at all, to a lack of delivery updates or canceled purchases. In fact, 77% of all 1-3 star feedback left by customers are related to problems or issues that occur after the customer clicks ‘buy’.

What does this mean? Well, without the right mechanics in place to support quick and seamless service at every touchpoint, including handling orders, shipping and logistics, or to manage hassle-free returns, you’ll fumble the ball in the end zone – the operations of the business. The last impression is key, and if this isn’t optimized, your business will end up making the type of operational errors that attracts poor feedback, drives away potential shoppers – and leaves a stain on your reputation which can be hard to shake.

Wrapping up

Where once upon a time having a slick website was the key to a great ecommerce experience, most shoppers’ expectations now stretch far beyond this, with modern demands for superior experiences at every touchpoint – and across every channel – from same-next day delivery options to real-time shipping, hassle-free returns and incredible response times.

It’s time to focus on creating seamless end-to-end experiences with consideration for the right technologies that will help your brand to expertly fulfill the modern expectations of customers. By taking your end-to-end experience to the next level, you will encourage the type of five-star marketplace ratings and reviews that’s needed to earn trust and capture the attention – and the business – of today’s online shopper.


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