For most of the people, it’s not always possible to own a house which completely reflects their own desires and hopes. Then furniture and other home décor items remain the sole channel through which they can decorate their homes that to go closer to their inner wishes. That’s why buying furniture always has a lining of sentimentality. This, combined with the potentially high prices of certain goods, makes people more cautious while buying furniture items. Hence, ratings and reviews matter more in furniture marketing, both for the customers and retailers. Let’s take a closer look.
A) Trust Factor:
Furniture is still a significant financial commitment for most people. Besides, it’s not an item that people buy on a regular or periodic basis. Additionally, return shipping is often pricey and disassembling and sending back an item can be very frustrating. Thus, they need to be absolutely about their purchase. When people hear about the quality and durability of a furniture piece from other ordinary people like themselves, they are likely to believe it. And ratings and reviews are nothing but a voice of such common people. That’s why they scan multiple reviews and ratings.
According to the Advances in Economics and Business, 85.57% of the participants stated that they read reviews often or very often before they purchase online. Furthermore, 70% of consumers trust reviews written by other consumers over professionally written reviews. It’s a clear cut indication that ratings and reviews act as a trust badge and social proof.
B) A Tool to Know What Customers Want:
Many furniture marketing experts have been vocal about the home décor industry’s inability to know what customers want due to the long buying cycle of items in their industry. People buy less frequently and thus the communication between buyers and sellers in the home decor and furniture world is visibly low in comparison with other industries like food or fashion. Ratings and reviews can fill this obvious void. People can express what they had precisely liked and disliked about your products. It can be the look, design or comfort that has hit or missed their hearts. It can be a valuable feedback to consider when you are in a process of devising new product lines.
Additionally, a robust ratings and reviews solution can be set to alert specific people on furniture marketing, product, and customer service teams when certain terms are used.
C) Competitive Edge:
There is a fierce competition in the segment of online home décor and furniture stores. With the arrival of super giants like Amazon in this sector, it has become even more intensified. The reality is it’s always impossible to compete with them in terms of the money and other resources they invest in their home goods and furniture marketing efforts to gain a positive sitting in the minds of customers. Ratings and reviews are more than handy in achieving the same with the minimum expenditure of resources. And there is a sound reason for this.
Generally, ratings and reviews affect the rational behavior of customers. If they see that your product has more five-star ratings and favorable reviews, there are high chances that they might turn their backs to more powerful brands than you and buy from you. For them quality matters, and ratings and reviews are the collective testimonies of quality.
D) Ratings and Reviews as a Loyalty Mechanism:
There is no doubt that home décor is at the last step of the loyalty ladder. Loyal behavior on the part of customers is rarely seen in this segment. Almost 75% of customers look at many home stores before they choose where to purchase. Clearly, it’s a loyalty deprived segment. Ratings and reviews can change this grim scenario for home goods and furniture marketers.
When you ask for reviews from your customers, you are doing two things. First, as they are posting reviews on your website, they are communicating with you and thus it enhances your interaction with them. In short, it is nurturing your rapport with them. Second, when they see that you value their opinion by responding to their reviews and queries, they feel that they are part of your brand activities. They feel they’re valued and that gives them the motive to come back to you. And believe it or not, this is the seed of a loyal behavior.
Customers often want this kind of engagement. After all, 64% of millennials think that companies should offer more ways for consumers to share their feedback on products and brands online.
E) SEO Ranking Benefits
Customer reviews positively affect your company’s organic search rankings in search engines. Each new review on your site increases the amount of unique content your site offers on that product. It means your online home décor store will have more authority, more relevance, and, as such, a higher chance of getting those pages ranked. This allows a review of your product to be featured above the fold of the normal search results. According to KISS Metrics, 25% of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands are links to user generated content like ratings and reviews.
The Bottom Line:
Whether it’s retention, conversion, acquisition, online presence, customer interaction or incremental sales, ratings and reviews are having a positive impact on every conceivable aspect of home décor and furniture marketing, sales, and product development. With new tools and technologies for consumer reviews, such as new review platforms and new mediums like video, they are going to become even more important and omnipotent. There is hardly any doubt that user reviews are here to stay, and the longer you wait to start optimizing your reviews, the more you stand to lose.
For more information about ratings and reviews, take a look at our comprehensive beginner’s guide to product reviews, our best practices guide for optimizing your site’s review platform, and our overview of the hottest user generated content trends, “The New Wave of User Generated Content: 7 Concepts for 2017 and Beyond.” Our case study with Skis.com, a longtime customer, also highlights how ratings and reviews boost engagement!