Friday, May 27, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: ReviewSpotter gives online retailers a way to make the most of their reviews

We all know that online reviews have strong persuasive power for consumers looking for reassurance about what and where they buy. No matter how beautiful your TV ads…no matter how attractive your web pages…there’s really nothing like a user endorsement to get people comfy with clicking the buy button.

According to Forrester, more than seven out of ten consumers say that they are more likely to buy from a site that bears positive consumer reviews on its pages. And I’ll wager that for smaller businesses that 70% figure actually UNDERSTATES the importance of such endorsements. First, because when we don’t know a retailer we are less likely to trust it with our personal information. Second, because we need assurance that the sites we choose offer a good value. Reviews help on both scores.

The challenge for small and medium-sized businesses is that the reviews for an individual retailer are scattered across the web, and can be difficult for consumers to find. And we know that when things are difficult to find online, consumers often abandon their searches and move on.

An offering called ReviewSpotter is a review discovery and presentation widget that helps retailers benefit from such reviews, at a very low monthly cost.

Review Spotter starts by scrounging the web looking for reviews for a particular online retailer. They then make the reviews available in a semi-customizable widget that can be easily incorporated into a site. As part of the service, the platform continues to sift through the web looking for new reviews to add to the rotation on the widget. The widget itself ONLY features positive reviews and ratings, and clients can actually select the reviews they wish to feature in the unit.

Consumers that are interested in seeing the retailer review where it originally appeared can simply click anywhere on the widget and a new browser window is spawned. That’s a nice feature because it reassures suspicious consumers that the reviews are real.

Improving results on a website is less about monumental changes than taking small steps. Including reviews on your site can help in that stream of incremental improvement. At just $40 a month, with no contract, offerings like this are certainly worth serious consideration.

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

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