How often do you read product reviews? Has a positive or negative review determined whether you added an item to your cart?
Many consumers depend on online product reviews to make purchasing decisions. It’s a critical part of their research. It determines whether or not a customer trusts you enough to hand over their money.
Realizing the importance of reviews, many retailers are making an effort to get more customers to leave them. Here’s our top tips to increase your online product reviews.
Importance of Online Product Reviews
90% of consumers who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions. On the other side, 86% said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.
Reviews are integral to a shopper’s trust. According to GetApp, customer reviews are the number one factor that makes a shopper trust an eCommerce store. Reviews help customers trust that the product/service is good, that it works, and that they aren’t being scammed.
It’s important for online retailers to increase their product reviews. They encourage customers to make purchases. Customers expect to see and read them as part of their research of an item.
Here are some tips on how you can get more product reviews.
Top Tips for Retailers to Get More Product Reviews
It takes a little thought and effort to create an effective strategy to increase your customer reviews. Follow these tips below.
1. Ask Customer to Leave Review
Don’t just leave it up to the customer to think to leave a review. You must ask them to do it.
In an Omnibus survey, nearly half of Americans (44%) actively write reviews, if only occasionally. In the same study, most shoppers (62%) stated that they wrote reviews to help others make a good purchasing decision.
After they’ve received their purchase, follow up with them to see how their experience was. You’ll be surprised how many people take the time to write a review. You won’t know though, unless you ask.
Note: Asking for a review upfront can also help you intercept a poor customer experience before a nasty review is written. It gives the customer a chance to respond to you directly so that you can fix the mistake. Afterwards, the customer may take the time to write a positive review about how you handled the situation.
2. Make it Easy to Leave a Review
When you ask a customer to leave a review, make it easy for them to do so. Point to where to go and tell them what to do.
In an email, provide a link to a landing page with a survey to fill out. On a printed receipt, write out the link to visit. Have employees circle this part on the receipt so it stands out. Directions should be concise and easy to follow.
For example, after I make a purchase at Fabletics.com, I receive an email asking me to leave a review of the workout clothes and gear I bought. I click the link that takes me to a landing page. The page has a few short survey questions about my experience and fit of the clothes. It ends with a blank comment box for me to leave a written review.
It only takes me a few minutes to fill all this out. Because of this simple process, I always review my purchases to contribute to the site’s content. I also rely on other’s reviews to make my purchasing decisions.
3. Be Timely
The best time to ask for a product review is within 24 hours of your customer receiving the product. After just receiving the product, emotions can help spur the likelihood of the customer taking action to write a review.
You don’t want to wait a week or months later to ask for a review. Your customer might have already stopped using the product or forgotten their experience. You will probably get less reviews.
4. Provide an Incentive
It’s common for merchants to provide incentives for customers to leave product reviews. A small incentive such as a discount coupon can be just enough to convince someone to leave a review who usually doesn’t.
Fabletics.com rewards a certain amount of points for each review you leave. You accumulate these points that later can be redeemed for merchandise. This encourages me to leave reviews. I also want to make more purchases so I have more items to review.
Be thoughtful of what incentives you provide. They should not be so grand that they hurt you financially. Also, only provide incentives when customers leave quality or complete reviews. You don’t want people filling out your comment boxes with “ajkjaskdask” just so they can get their reward.
While incentives are common, they are by no means necessary. Many successful retailers do not provide them.
5. Follow Up to the Review
Your job is not done once the review is written. Reviews, both positive and negative, provide valuable feedback for your company.
Follow up positive feedback with gratitude. Respond quickly to negative feedback to fix any mistakes.
Negative reviews provide a great way to interact with unhappy customers. Respond directly with any inquiries and remedies to fix the situation. This shows other customers that you care. It also can help save a customer that might never have shopped with you again.
If a situation is fixed, ask the customer to update their review with the results. This helps eliminate the number of bad reviews you have.
Getting more customers to review your products just takes a little time and effort. The reviews will go a long way for future customers and your business!
What to Do Next
Online product reviews play an important role in whether or not a customer decides to make a purchase. However, reviews aren’t the only part of your eCommerce business that you can improve.
Check out these other articles to see where else you can improvements: