Monday, July 14, 2014

Etsy shop reviews tips and tricks. How much do they really matter?

Posted by at 2:10 PM Read our previous post
There are lots of talks among Etsy sellers about shop reviews: how to get happy customers leave a positive feedback, how to avoid being rated with fewer stars, how much do customers rely on the shop's reviews?

I will be honest with you, i never paid special attention to my shop's reviews, nor have i ever asked a customer to leave a feedback. That doesn't mean i wasn't excited every time i got a positive review or that i don't appreciate them! It's just that there are other things i believe to have a greater importance than this.

What are shop reviews?
After buying an item, the customer can leave feedback - whether it's positive or negative - and can rate the shop, services and products with stars from 1 to 5. The customer can leave detailed explanations about why they gave the number of stars they chose to give. Usually they take into consideration: communication, items' quality and shipping.

How do you get customers to leave feedback?
I've seen this question many times on teams' forums. While i do enjoy hearing back from my clients, i do not want to push them to come back and leave a review. I'd much rather encourage them to come back for another happy sale! However, this is just me. The most efficient way to have a client return for a review is by making a small note on a thank you card you send along with the item he bought. That way he won't feel pressured, but he would have appreciated your work and would feel more inclined to share this aspect. You can also write this note when announcing the item has shipped. However, try not to insist on it. You'd risk getting a fewer stars rating. 

How do shop reviews affect an Etsy shop?
Whether they're good or bad, the shop reviews can play a decisive role in making the decision to buy. If, on the overall shop look, the rating stars are not all yellow, there would be an instant alarm signal for the customer. After carefully reading customer's opinions, one can change his / her initial opinion. Other potential customers that are indecisive at first, after reading a whole bunch of positive feedback, actually decide to buy.

How much do shop reviews really matter?
The shop reviews are simply subjective opinions of customers. Reading lots of shop reviews myself, i found that many times the customers that rate the shop with fewer stars have one general problem: item never arrived. As an etsy buyer, i try to solve the problem directly with the seller. That would pretty much be the best and easiest way to get everything sorted out. We all know about postal services problems. I used to think it was only something that happened with my country's postal services, but i actually found that people all over the world are dissatisfied with their post offices. So that's the main reason etsy sellers get in trouble: something that is out of their reach and that they can do nothing about. However, it is their job to promptly answer their client's messages and let them know what they can and can't do about it. Avoiding and not answering the messages would certainly earn you a negative review. On the other hand, trying to explain to your client what's going on and giving deadlines and ultimately giving a solution would certainly mean a lot. Basically it's a time when both sellers and buyers must be reasonable. However, this is by far the most common explanation for negative reviews, so you as possible future clients should ask yourselves: is this something that was the seller's fault? Does this negative review actually count for that much? 

What is more important than the golden 5 stars?
I was saying at the beginning of this article that in my opinion, there are other things that are more important than reviews. If i check out an etsy shop and the overall image doesn't appeal to me at all (basically it's all photos' fault), i won't even look at the ratings, much less reading explanations for them. It might not be a good thing, but in online shopping photos are all you've got. A client doesn't get to actually see the item he's buying until after he's already bought it, so photos should be at least appealing. Then we have the item's basic description. Words should cover what photos couldn't, so these descriptions must be accurate and precise. Otherwise, if i don't know what i'm buying, how am i supposed to order anything?
Then, if i like an item, but the shop doesn't have a 100% 5 golden stars ratings, i check the explanations on both sides. It would be a lot better if negative reviews had explanations from sellers even if it wasn't their fault. That way possible future clients can see that you did try your best to solve the issue until the very end.

There still remain a lot of aspects to talk about when it comes to reviews. As we move forward and come across other related issues, we'll create a Chapter 2. Feel free to express your own opinions on the matter in the mean time!

Funky Box Studio wishes you, as always, a colorful day! 
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  1. I am involved with 3 Etsy Shops (2 with my daughter-in-law) and what I want to know more than feedback is how did the buyer find us? Positive feedback is wonderful but we are constantly trying to find what is working at getting customers. I would not ask for feedback but we have sent cupouns to customers and asked how they discovered us.

    1. Oh yes, i sure do agree! This is definitely a much more important thing than feedback. This way you know for sure what you should channel yourself more on and things can only get better from there.
      Thank you for your comment! :)


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