Thursday, 8 December 2016

Online Reviews Key Driver in Customer Purchase Decision

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Image credits: Georgejmclittle
Traders across different spheres of the global economy confess to a love-hate relationship with online reviews, but according to Invesp, a marketing retail and analytics firm, 90% of consumers read online reviews before placing an order or making a purchase. The survey, carried out to establish shopping trends and habits of customers online also indicates that  88% of these buyers trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.

When it comes to trust, the spenders tend to put their faith in institutions and businesses that have at least attained excellent rating from past users, while 32% will only trust brands that have been reviewed positively. For both instances, it’s not difficult to see how humans are capable of relating to others’ experiences, and even use them to forecast their own.

Customer reviews, more or less reflects a true picture of any given business as Estelle Verdier - Managing Director,  Jumia explains.

“Unless where suspicions of malice, hostility or rivalry are present, businesses should be able to learn, respond, recover and restructure where need be, so as to give better services to their customers.” Verdier,

whose company has launched a “Customer Selection” exclusive list of hotels argues that, the hospitality sector especially cannot ignore the impact and role of online reviews, since vacationers and visitors do not only want to buy a good bed, but rather come looking for great service, insightful engagement and interaction with the staff members as well as promised environment to befit the purpose of their stay.
Jumia Travel Selection.jpgJumia Travel MD - Estelle Verdier hands “Customer Selection” Certificate to a representative of Milele Beach Complex - Mombasa

Her sentiments are well reiterated by the findings of Invesp; which places reliability (27%), expertise (21%), and professionalism (18%) as the main determinants influencing customer review. An excerpt of the survey cites that 86% of customers will refuse to purchase from a business with negative reviews, while indicating that one negative review can cost a business 30 potential customers.

Dealing with negative reviews

Eduard Meyjes, Head of Revenue Management at Jumia Travel explains that the company’s “Jumia Customer Selection” list only contains about 350 hotels of the properties on the site.

“Our NPS (Net Promoter Score) score is fairy high at 7.0 and above, but we believe, there is no excuse to attaining excellence, we ensure that hotels have ready access to the reviews coming from their customers - therefore act as guideline on what needs to be done, and what the customer is looking for. Rapid response, and offering restitution where possible is vital where negative feedback is involved.”

Khalid Saleh, co-founder of Invesp cites admission, correction and consistency on the side of the business as a sure path to recovery after unfavorable comments are made against your services, products and the business image at large. “Also, be keen to shed off the corporate tone and approach your dissatisfied customer at a personal level as you try to recover their faith in your business gain.” Once all this is done, learn how review sites work, familiarise yourself with various tools in the market, and make it your duty to invite and remind  loyal customers to review your products, as this will go a long way in acquiring new conversions!"

By Lillian Gaitho
Jumia Travel.