Online shoppers let online retailers know in numerous ways how satisfied or dissatisfied they have been with a purchase. Yet how can online retailers keep an eye on all these different channels and thus ensure a lasting retailer-customer relationship?
The definition of customer feedback
The term customer feedback is a collective term describing the experience users have had with a company, in our case an online shop. Shop and product reviews are generally the most well-known ways for an online buyer to share their experience with the internet community. Forum entries and blogs are just as much a part of this as social media shares and likes.
Yet customer feedback can also be expressed indirectly. Users also signal their satisfaction to retailers through their returns behaviour. Online retailers can equally draw conclusions about customer satisfaction through the repeat customer rate. Or let’s take financial protection using the money-back guarantee. These are further elements that form part of customer feedback.
The importance of customer feedback for online retailers
Feedback from online buyers covers a very wide range of business areas in an online shop. Firstly, positive feedback is naturally an ideal marketing tool. After all, a public rating generates a positive effect for the consumer similar to that of a personal recommendation by friends and acquaintances. This leads users to generally prefer shops with which other buyers have had a good experience.
A further dimension is feedback as an indicator of the quality of the retailer-customer relationship. For many consumers, a smooth process for an online order is something they expect as a matter of course. Positive customer reviews are a sure-fire sign of an intact retailer-customer relationship. The buyer is thus not only a customer but a real ‘fan’ of the shop. Many people like to share this enthusiasm with the public. Other customers can also be swept up by this and are often willing to buy again from your shop, and consequently becoming regular customers.
The third dimension lies in operational business. Customer feedback, primarily negative feedback, uncovers weaknesses in the online shop, processes or products. The consumer therefore offers you a free glimpse of your shop from outside. Many online retailers systematically assess feedback from their customers and make a point of looking for areas in which they can further increase their quality.
Bundling feedback channels
In order to retain an overview of the many different feedback channels, it is recommended to bundle and process this information. Certain solution providers have now also recognised this for e-commerce. In special dashboards, they offer online retailers a holistic view of their customer’s needs and expectations.
Every customer feedback provides benefits to online retailers, also negative
Every shop would like satisfied customers and good customer retention. The targeted analysis of customer feedback – whether active or passive – can help to identify quality problems in the shop and boost customer satisfaction using targeted measures. This is often comparatively easy.
When it comes to reviews, online shopper mostly look for negative feedback first of all in order to assess the trustworthiness of the supplier. This matches the findings of recent studies on this topic, including the study “The Psychology of Reviewing” by Tomorrow Focus Media.
The majority of consumers find positive and negative feedback equally helpful. If an online retailer receives exclusively positive user reviews, this leads to scepticism among around 50% of users and doubts about credibility.
Realizing the full potential of customer feedback can become a real competitive advantage: It is the headstone to a sustainable retailer-customer relationship, can increase customer loyalty and finally increase the shops conversion.