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Insider Updates

Should You Respond to Negative Reviews on Etsy?


Responding publicly to reviews on Etsy is sometimes contentiously debated in the Etsy forums. But which is right, to respond or ignore it?

Some sellers quite rightly argue that it is professional to respond publicly to a negative review. This response is meant for future customers and shows how you handle different situations, what your customer service is like and what new customers can expect from you.

The argument against responding to reviews usually doesn't come with a robust argument as to why it's not a good idea but sellers opposed to doing this often cite the tendency of some sellers to respond very emotionally and not in a more professional way. 

I think it should go without saying that responses need to be kept professional and emotionally detached. But in case you need to hear that, it's super important to remember that you are talking to your next customer and your response should reflect well on you and your shop. Stick to the facts and leave the emotional drama out of it.

Other sellers simply feel afraid to respond. There's a fear of seeming imperfect, or to admitting there was a problem, or just simply preferring not to acknowledge reviews that are unfair in their context.

Getting an opinion on these types of important business decisions is often not best served by opinions from your peer group. Opinions aren't facts and it's usually a lot more helpful to have concrete data to inform your actions either way.

Looking outside Etsy for answers for this question opens up the discussion to more robust argument, which happens to skew very heavily in favor of yes - you should definitely respond to your negative reviews.

Let me provide some good statistical data that puts this into a whole new light (this data has been taken from a variety of studies and surveys):

1. 89% of customers say they read replies to reviews

2. 53% of customers expect a business to reply to their online reviews within 7 days

3. 82% of customers actually look for negative reviews for a business

4. 95% of customers get suspicious if there are no negative reviews

5. Businesses that respond to reviews on average earn 4% more revenue than those that don't

6. 41% of customers feel review responses show a business cares about their customers

If you google the topic you can find so many more stats around the benefits of responding to negative reviews but I wasn't able to find anything in favor of (or detrimental to) not responding (provided the response is professional).

So the consensus is clear, the benefits of responding to negative reviews far outweighs any perceived opinion on it not being necessary or it having any kind of negative effect.

If you struggle to write responses without your emotions getting in the way consider asking your peers to help you out. It's always easier to write a response for someone else! Some sellers are even utilizing ChatGPT with success to formulate a response, so if you're inclined in that direction and want to harness the power of AI for your business this is also a good option (just be sure to proof edit everything).


happy crafting

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