How user reviews can boost your business

How Localised User Reviews can Boost your Overseas Business

If you’re planning to enter a new market overseas then there are plenty of considerations for you to think about before you take the plunge. Perhaps one of the most cost effective and influential things you can do to add instant credibility to your business is to include user reviews on your new website from local users. The statistics show that 60 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase products or services from a website if it features reviews, so authentic, localised user reviews can really help you gain traction in a new market.

What does the research say?

The research by Reevoo revealed that a massive 88 percent of customers ‘always or sometimes’ consult customer reviews before making a purchase, while 48 percent said customer reviews were ‘influential’ in their decision. This compares to just 24 percent and 22 percent who said advertising and advice from sales assistants were influential in their decision respectively.

From the research, it’s clear that reviews play a critical part in the purchasing decisions of consumers, so making sure reviews are available in the local language could boost your chances of success.

The role of user reviews

Although customer reviews can range widely in their quality, usefulness and thoroughness, done well, can have a powerful effect on the behaviour of your customers. Authentic customer reviews support the credibility of your brand as it enters a new market. They can reiterate the benefits of your products and services and reassure customers that a particular product is right for them. The most powerful and believable way to do this is in the language and voice of the local consumer.

How do global preferences change?

Research has found that the way consumers use reviews varies between cultures. Research published in Digital Intelligence Today found that US consumers have more trust in reviews written by friends and acquaintances, while those here in the UK prefer reviews written by professionals and past customers.

In some of the markets UK businesses typically enter into, such as India, Malaysia and Brazil, 60 percent of consumers would seek an expert opinion before making a purchase. In the Middle East, there was also a preference for expert reviews. In China, there’s plenty of weight placed on customer reviews, with 40 percent online shoppers regularly reading and writing product and service reviews.

The importance of authenticity

Generally speaking, wherever they are in the world, consumers are excellent at spotting fake reviews. They are also less trusting of reviews they find on company-owned assets, such as websites, due to the editorial control the brand will have.

In the UK our cynicism shines through, with only 17 percent of consumers believing the reviews they find on company websites. In the more trusting (or perhaps naïve) US, 28 percent of consumers said they trusted the reviews they read on company websites.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, a negative review can actually be beneficial for a brand. Clearly more negative reviews than positive reviews will have a detrimental impact on sales, but a small number of negative reviews can actually engender trust from consumers and make the positive reviews more believable.

How can you create local language reviews?

Getting customers to leave reviews is often a case of ‘easier said than done’. Most customers will simply want to make their purchase and get on with other things. Those that are the keenest to write a review tend to be those who have something negative to say about their experience.

To get a customer who has a positive experience to leave a review, there are a number of different things you can do:

  • Ask customers to leave feedback;
  • Use the customer’s email address to send a follow-up email and request a review;
  • Incentivise customers to leave reviews – for example, by offering free products or money off in exchange for reviews.

How can we help?

If you want a number of user reviews for your launch into a new market, you can localise some of your existing reviews with the help of our expert transcreation and localisation team. While this strategy is not recommended in the longer term, it can provide the reassurance your new customers need while your brand becomes more established. For more information, please call 02392 987 765 or email: info@linguistica-international.com today.