You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why! 

I love that song, but here’s a little-known fact about the holiday classic “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: the first few lines of text to this song are actually a warning to consumers! With all the good stuff that comes along with Christmas, there are naughty people out there trying to scam shoppers out of their hard-earned cash. In today’s article, we’ll look at what you can do to build trust with new visitors.

You better watch out

As a legitimate business owner, this might come as a shock to you, but it’s true: Christmas time is when a lot of fake shops pop up promising deals that make Black Friday seem like a rip-off. And you would think that consumers would recognise a deal that is too good to be true, but they don’t always see things this way.

Reviews

This time of year brings out the best and worst in people (source: shutterstock)

In fact, Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) revealed some shocking statistics last year. After surveying more than 1,900 British online shoppers, they discovered that a whopping 31% of online shoppers are more likely to take a financial risk, such as shopping on an unknown or unsecure site, if they think they’ve found a great bargain.

Sure, this is shocking, but also not surprising. The average British family will spend around £800 on Christmas gifts! No wonder they look for bargains wherever they can find them.

He knows if you’ve been bad or good

I’m willing to bet that as a retailer, you’ll have some kind of holiday promotion this year to entice shoppers to purchase from your shop. It’s a great idea for obvious reasons. However, as shoppers become more aware of fraudulent sites out there, they have begun looking towards each other for help.

Building trust is obviously important whether you’re selling internationally or domestically. Since the dawn of commerce, the best kind of marketing any business can have is word-of-mouth because of the trust element. This still rings true and in our digital world, this might be even truer today despite the endless supply of ads we are exposed to every day.

Word-of-mouth has evolved in the modern world, too. I’m talking about online reviews, of course. Think about it: when was the last time you spent more than £20 on an item online and didn’t search for a review? Don’t just take my word for it, though. According to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Again, that’s 85%!

So, as a retailer, reviews can be a powerful weapon for increasing your conversions rates. Having reviews directly on your site carries lots of benefits, though. For example, having a constant flow of reviews on your site is technically considered as fresh content in Google’s eyes. And Google loves new content. Thus, reviews can actually help businesses rank higher in search results.

Speaking of Google, collecting reviews can help improve your visibility in search engine results pages, too. Besides ranking higher, once you collect a substantial number of reviews, you really increase the chances of your shop’s star-rating (your average review score) showing up in those result-pages. It’s possible to get those stars to show up in organic results, but also in your paid ads, too. Increasing your Google real estate with extra information can really help your business stand out from your competition in the search results.

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Those little orange stars really make this paid ad stand out

Perhaps most importantly, having reviews directly on your site gives shoppers a really good reason not to leave your page. As consumers, we all love finding a great deal. I honestly don’t know what feels better: finding a great deal or telling all your friends how great that deal was. The point is that price is definitely a factor for all consumers, but it’s not the only factor. If a shopper visits your website for the first time without ever having heard of your business before, there’s a good chance they’re clicking around with scepticism and will end up abandoning their shopping carts if they haven’t been convinced of your trustworthiness.

The truth is that when buying an expensive item, a lot of shoppers would rather spend £30 more for the same product on Amazon just for the peace of mind. For starters, Amazon is a household name at this point, so it’s relatively trustworthy, but also, products found in these large marketplaces tend to have a lot of reviews. Sure, there’s a chance they’ll read the reviews on one page and then go back to the site that offers a better price. However, any time you give shoppers a reason to leave your site, the probability that they don’t complete the purchase with you skyrockets. As a business owner, I probably don’t have to tell you that twice.

So be good for goodness sake!

The other benefit of having a review system directly on your website is that you can get negative reviews! Yes, you read that correctly. Negative reviews can do good things for your page. Stay with me here.

If you genuinely sell high quality products and take pride in your service, then you don’t have much to fear. In fact, according to Trusted Shops data, 81.2% of shoppers gave shops all five stars in their Trusted Shops reviews. Only 1.36% of users gave one-star reviews. But what happens if you do get the occasional negative review?

Have no fear! Here’s a chance to show off your customer service skills. Nearly every bad review can be replied to positively. Not only that, but keep in mind that some shoppers actively search out negative reviews and if you respond to them, you can bet that they’re reading your response carefully. No one expects a business to be perfect, but every shopper expects customer service departments to be flawless, so make sure you take on those negative reviews and flip them around into positive experiences for others to read about.

You might think it’s too late to start collecting reviews in time for the Christmas holiday. However, with the right review system, you can also send review requests to past customers helping you get to a nice number of reviews before the holidays. Naturally, the more reviews you collect, the more trustworthy you seem.

Conclusion

With Christmas coming up, it’s time to prepare your website appropriately. If you’re shop is not one of the giants out there, then you’ve got to work extra hard on bridging the trust-gap that exists when visiting a new shop for the first time. Getting shop and product reviews on your site lets your happy customers become your biggest advocates and that helps drive new customers through the check out! For more tips on getting your shop ready for the holiday sales, check out Trusted Shops’ Christmas landing page for some free whitepapers.

How did you turn negative online reviews into positive experiences? Share it with us below or Tweet us!