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Online Retail: Use reviews to establish authority

Online Retail: Use reviews to establish authority Q. Is it necessary to have customers leave reviews on my website?

A. Absolutely. There are many reasons why you want to allow your customers to leave reviews based on their interaction with you, both in-store, as well as on your website.

First of all, let's distinguish between merchant reviews and product reviews. Product reviews (if you sell products online) is a service you can subscribe to and integrate into your website product catalog. This allows customers who purchase from you to leave a review of the individual item they purchased along with their buying experience. This is extremely helpful for new customers in that they can read real users personal (and often helpful) opinion of the item they are considering. The aggregate of customer opinions provide great user-generated information during the buying process and establishes your site as an authority on the items you sell.

Merchant reviews are from customers who provide feedback on their experience with your business and your staff. Chances are your business already has merchant reviews, even if you have not formally subscribed to a review service that solicits reviews from your customers. Unfortunately, and in many instances, if you are not engaged in the reviews process, the only customers who go out of their way to leave a review are the ones who have had an isolated bad experience and proactively advertise that on Yelp, Google, Facebook, etc. Just Google your business name followed by “reviews” to see your results.

Subscribing to a service to solicit manage the review process is necessary because it gives you the ability to generate multiple reviews, which improve your search engine standing. It also allows you the opportunity to respond to any potential negative review by addressing the customers concerns and correcting any misunderstanding. It also allows you to engage with customers who leave a positive experience.

Kamal Haddad is CEO of Health Mobius. Reach him at



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