User experience is one of today’s hottest topics.

In a world where competition is so fierce, one of your top priorities should be the interactions and perceptions that your customers experience when they touch your website, products, and services.

Consumer expectations are rising every day, and word-of-mouth travels faster than ever. This means today’s buyers are empowered, and a great user experience can not be overlooked.

92% of consumers now consult online reviews before purchasing online, so downplaying the importance of user experience is simply not an option anymore.

In this post, we’ll cover how customer feedback can not only improve web navigation but also give you great insights to help you continually improve and innovate.

Creating a Seamless Journey with Third-Party Validation

Today, customer feedback impacts purchasing decisions more than ever. Indeed, 93% of shoppers admit they read online reviews as part of the decision-making process.

Consumers can compare businesses online with just a click. That’s why leveraging third-party validation throughout the user journey will not only reduce your bounce rate but also boost consumer confidence and improve the user experience.

Here are four ways you can use reviews to improve user experience and deliver a seamless shopper journey.

1. Search engine results pages

Whether you’re a business owner, marketing director or a related role, you’ve probably heard of star ratings.

These markups and ad extensions show star ratings directly in search engine results pages (SERPs), which help businesses stand out from the competition as a sort of peer-reviewed affirmation of quality.

The Google Seller Ratings extension displays stars under the URL on your ads – and increases CTR by 10% on average.

Rich Snippet Stars also show up in organic search traffic.

Displaying star ratings in your organic listing or Google Ads improves user experience and helps searchers find what they’re looking for — faster — by providing more information earlier in the journey.

2. Your homepage

Showcasing any customer feedback you might have will add trustworthiness and credibility to your website.

Trust badges, verified by third parties, are extremely important when it comes to decision making. Including them on your homepage could save you and your visitors a lot of time.

By providing consumers with answers to any questions they might have (Is this website trustworthy? Have others bought from this store?), you’re reducing your bounce rate, your visitors’ research time, and, therefore, improving the overall user experience.

3. Your product pages

By encouraging and sharing reviews, you let customers create content that will help people who are looking for answers.

We’ve all been there — you’re looking at a hotel, wondering whether or not you should book it, if the service is good, if your room will actually look like the pictures… that’s usually when you start Googling for hours, looking for more information, some customer feedback, and maybe even customer photos.

Well, product reviews save you time. Now imagine you’re looking at the same hotel, but obtaining all of this information without leaving the product page.

Pretty nice experience, right?

Leveraging user-generated content on-page is a great way to deliver a better user experience by letting your existing customers do the talking, and by giving your visitors all the information they could ever need — without leaving the page.

4. Your checkout page

Did you know the global average cart abandonment rate was more than 78% in 2017? Cart abandonment may be a very common phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean you should let it affect your business.

Whether your visitors are leaving their carts because of a last-minute shipping fee, because they’re unsure about the item in their cart, or because they’ve never heard of your company, reviews can help here.

Displaying third-party validation on the checkout page will boost customer confidence at a much-needed time.

Using review data to learn more about consumers

Understanding your audience — their desires, opinions, and experiences with your brand — is critical.

Listening allows you to learn from, and talk to, your customers in order to improve their experiences on your website.

If you’re not sure where to start, review tagging is one way to track and analyze your customers’ feedback. It’s important to take time to evaluate which areas of your business impact your visitors the most.

Once that’s done, you should create review tags to compare trends and performance across different areas of your business (navigation, customer service, credibility, shipping, etc.).

Once you start collecting some data, you’ll quickly find that some areas of your business do well, while some others might need a little bit more work. All of these fresh consumer insights will help you improve your overall user experience over time.

Final Thoughts

As retailers approach the challenge of improving their user experience to stand out from the competition, online reviews are becoming one go-to marketing initiative to improve the buying journey and help understand what consumers are looking for.

The key to a successful user experience is knowing how to create trust throughout the different stages of the journey and listening to your customers’ feedback.

Reviews allow you to create a seamless on-site experience, boost trust throughout the buyer journey, and add credibility when consumers may have doubt.

Extracting data from your feedback will help you grow your marketing efforts, and continually improve and innovate.

If you’re interested in the impact of online reviews on the customer journey, check out more on Trustpilot’s blog.

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