As the saying goes, “your brand is defined by those who experience it.”
From local restaurants to winter coats and digital software – customers share their retail experiences, and it is having an impact! In fact, 93% of adults in the USA read reviews before making online purchases.
So if your brand, product, or service has no online reviews, how does a potential customer know if they should make the purchase or not?
For ecommerce retailers, online reviews are even more important. Because customers are unable to touch or examine a product when they are making a purchase decision, product reviews and ratings help new customers evaluate if they are making the right choice.
But how can you encourage customers to leave a review? Here are some easy, actionable tips and ideas to help you get more reviews and boost your product rating.
Importance of Product Reviews
Customer reviews can boost your reputation and improve your customer acquisition. That is because other customers are perceived as unbiased and trustworthy. In fact, 49% of shoppers say they trust customer reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends.
But more importantly, half of all consumers are willing to travel further to – and spend more at – a business with good customer reviews. For businesses with good product ratings, this could be a great motivator to expand their geographical reach and market share.
You can also use product reviews to inform your product choices to help you deliver better products and services to your customers.
And because Google puts their user’s experience first, reviews also help improve your SEO – which means more clicks to your website!
How to Get Reviews
So, now we know the importance, how do you get customers to leave a review?
When a customer compliments you via email, phone, or in person, let them know that you’d appreciate it if they left the same feedback in an online review.
You can also send customers post-purchase feedback emails to get direct feedback on purchases – this also helps to keep your business in your customer’s inbox!
- Don’t wait too long! Customers are more likely to give you feedback soon after they receive their purchase rather than a few weeks later.
- Personalize it for highly valued customers. While post-purchase feedback emails are good to target many customers, highly valued customers prefer a personal touch.
Even for the most satisfied customers, an incentive can help encourage them to take time out of their busy day to write a review.
Incentivization is a great way to show your appreciation for customers leaving a product review. This can be in the form of loyalty program rewards, freebies, coupons, or other perks.
Incentives can also turn your happy customers into brand advocates and help customer retention.
Top tip: Take the time to ask your customers which incentives they want for leaving a review!
But how do you ensure they are fair and balanced? iHerb incentivizes product reviews – both good and bad – through cash rewards.
Make it easy for customers to leave a review
There are loads of websites, such as Google reviews, TrustPilot, and Yelp, where customers leave reviews.
In order to benefit from this free publicity, make sure to put direct links to your review profiles in your communications channels – emails, newsletters, social media profiles. For example, you can get a downloadable “Find us on Yelp” banner to use on your website.
MAC shares comprehensive feedback from other customers – including listing the individual star ratings, product word association, an average star rating, and a place for customers to provide a detailed review.
They also allow customers to attach photographs to their review. User-generated content like photos and videos increases your conversion rate, organic traffic, and buyer engagement. It helps potential customers see what the product looks like in real, everyday life rather than the perfect product photography they will see on your website.
Best Apps and Tools to Get Reviews
Making it easy for your customers to leave an online review on your website is easy, thanks to a number of apps and tools available to download.
All of the apps mentioned below can help you set up post-purchase feedback emails and incentives, but which one is best for you? Here are some of our favorites!
Loox helps you to boost sales by collecting photo and video reviews from happy customers. Their integration with Google Shopping helps drive brand discovery.
You can encourage word-of-mouth and repeat purchases with photo and video review incentives such as referral discounts, turning happy customers into brand ambassadors!
Why we love it: Loox is customizable to your brand look and feel. You can also automatically group product recommendations among similar or identical products with eye-catching layouts, encouraging customers to explore your inventory!
According to Yotpo, you collect more reviews than any other product review solution by sending customers automated review requests via email and SMS to collect reviews, ratings, and photos. They also have a community Q&A feature that helps you engage directly with your customers.
Another great feature is Yotpo’s official partnership with Google and Facebook, meaning that you can boost brand discovery through search and drive more customers to your ecommerce site!
With Yotpo, you can also highlight details from your customer review and make the important elements stand out!
Why we love it: Yotpo flags negative reviews that require your attention so you can engage with your customers and learn how you can improve your service or product offering!
With Stamped, you can collect product reviews from customers directly on your website or via email. You can also import them from AliExpress, Facebook, and Klaviyo.
A great feature is their search function, which allows customers to search reviews by keyword and filter reviews by topic! The app also lets you add customer attributes like age, waist, fit, etc. so that potential customers are able to get a holistic understanding of the review.
You can also create shoppable Instagram galleries, turning positive reviews into shoppable user-generated content, making it easier for customers to convert a scroll into a purchase!
Stamped also gives you control over your reviews: you can choose which ones get published and respond to customer reviews publicly or privately.
Why we love it: Stamped has a feature that lets you get reviews at checkout so you can understand why customers decided to make their latest purchase.
4. Ali Reviews
Using Ali Reviews, you can gather product reviews efficiently via social media platforms or through QR codes on your product packaging, as well as via email and SMS. You can also import photo reviews in bulk from AliExpress.
You can reply to customer reviews which helps to increase customer interaction, create a dialogue and show your appreciation for their valuable feedback – and attract new customers.
Ali Reviews also lets you share product reviews on your social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so you can drive conversion-ready traffic directly to your ecommerce store.
Why we love it: By using customer shopping data – such as in-cart products, viewed products, and purchase history – you can target the most relevant reviews to specific customers. This customization can help you reduce cart abandonment and build customer confidence.
How to Turn Negative Reviews into Positive
Eventually, you will get a bad review.
According to an early 2013 survey sponsored by Zendesk, 90% of people surveyed said that positive online reviews influence their buying decision, but a whopping 86% said that negative online reviews influenced their decision.
So, how do you respond?
First, take time to listen to your customer. All feedback – even negative feedback – is a valuable opportunity to help you grow your business. Reach out to the customer to learn more about their experience – what did they not like specifically, and how could their experience be improved?
And responding to reviews does work. 56% of customers say that responses to reviews changed their perspectives!
Unfortunately, negative experiences are easy to share. But the average satisfied customer is less likely to take the time to leave you a review. Encourage satisfied customers to leave good reviews to ‘drown out’ the bad ones!
But don’t forget to thank each person who reviews your product! All feedback – even negative feedback – is valuable to help you grow your business.
Conclusion: Online Reviews Are Important for Ecommerce Retailers!
Given the importance of online reviews in the customer decision-making process, product reviews should definitely be part of your business strategy.
Reviews can help you build trust at key stages of the customer journey, helping you to convert more customers and boost sales!