eCommerce reviews can skyrocket sales and improve your relationship with customers. Imagine your customers are walking, talking billboards for your products or services. With customer reviews, that's not far off the reality.
Positive customer feedback is key to any eCommerce success story. High customer satisfaction guarantees repeat business and new buyers that'll keep your company in the green.
Let’s explore how to get more positive feedback, and identify the many benefits of improving the quantity and quality of your customer reviews.
- eCommerce reviews evaluate a customer’s experience of your product or service. The more reviews you receive, the higher up the list your company will appear on search engines.
- A glowing collection of reviews enhances your legitimacy and makes customers more likely to trust your brand. Positive reviews boost the confidence of first-time buyers, encouraging them to browse your product pages and buy something.
- Rewarding those who leave positive reviews encourages other customers to do the same, further widening your pool of potential customers. Gain website traffic by asking your customers to share images on their social media pages, and email your eCommerce store customers asking them to review their most recent purchase.
- Use text and images from reviews in your marketing to drive engagement.
What are eCommerce reviews?
An eCommerce review is an evaluation of a product or service by someone who has recently bought or used it. They are a type of feedback that help online shoppers to make better purchase decisions and business owners refine their product and service ranges.
Your online reputation is based on how many customers enjoyed their shopping experience with your brand. Those who have a positive interaction with your company will leave positive online reviews. Those who don't will leave negative reviews that could jeopardize the success of your online store.
Reviews appear on Google, social media, and review sites such as Trustpilot and Trip Advisor. Feedback has become more popular, with the number of online reviews rising by 87% between 2019 and 2020. Encourage as many people as possible to leave reviews because they are a useful gauge for assessing how your customers feel during and post purchase.
Benefits of improving your online reviews
One of the ways your online store can thrive is by improving the quantity and quality of customer reviews. eCommerce businesses with a huge bank of positive customer feedback will be seen as more legitimate by consumers – driving traffic and encouraging more sales.
Read on to discover the benefits of improving your online feedback.
Increase brand awareness
If your product or service becomes popular, you can expect to gain traction on social media platforms. If you're lucky, an influencer will discover your brand and promote it to their followers – which are sometimes in the hundreds of millions. It only takes one popular influencer to shout about your product for your sales to rise dramatically.
Countless brands rely on product quality and customer service alone to succeed in a crowded market, but in most cases this simply isn't enough. Great reviews and social media traction count for so much.
Improve SEO and increase traffic
The more reviews your eCommerce business has, the higher it'll rank on search engines such as Google. This is hugely advantageous because it'll ensure that more customers will find your brand – driving traffic to your site.
Online reviews are important for your SEO efforts and are essential in convincing search engine algorithms that your brand is legitimate and reliable.
Boost the confidence of first-time customers
Picture the scene. You're a customer looking for a new dress. It's for a big night out with your friends, and so it's important it arrives on time and is of the advertised quality. You find two online stores selling it. But how do you choose which one to trust?
Most customers in this position consult Google or Trustpilot reviews for impartial opinions. Alternatively, they'll search for both brands on Twitter or Instagram to read what people are saying. Negative reviews are very damaging and can deter potential customers from visiting your online store.
Simply stating on your website that you're trustworthy and legitimate isn't enough. After all, anyone could write that. Consumers need evidence that what you're stating is true and they'll consult honest reviews to achieve this.
It's important to remember that customers are usually very busy and so don't have the time to read every review. Instead, they're more likely to consult the average star rating and opt for the website with the highest score. Alternatively, they may read just a handful of the best and worst reviews.
Save money on marketing
Authentic customer reviews are beneficial because they can reduce the amount of money you spend on marketing your brand. Reviews are often more effective at driving engagement and sales than other marketing materials.
Use user-generated content to boost your brand's status and present yourself as a more reliable option for consumers. If a customer includes a picture of your product in their review, you can use this in your own communications.
User-generated images of your product or service are useful marketing tools because they're authentic. Unlike professional photographs, user-generated images are often less glossy which adds legitimacy to them.
Outside of spontaneous customer reviews, consider paying recent shoppers to complete video testimonials for you – which you can share on your social media channels. Strong testimonials enjoy lots of interaction, which will see your brand shared across the platform.
Create customer loyalty
You can use reviews to build on customer loyalty. It's good practice to reward positive reviewers or enter them into a prize draw.
By rewarding those who speak positively about your brand, you'll encourage others to do the same. It also lets your customers know that you value them, which will result in lots of repeat customers. Making happy customers should be your number one priority.
Shoppers appreciate brands that retain a relationship with them after their money has entered the till. It shows a genuine connection between the brand, product, and consumer.
Improve perceived legitimacy
Nothing screams scam quite like a website with no reviews. A high percentage of negative reviews is also a telltale sign that a website might be fake. Customers are incredibly unlikely to take a risk on a brand with no or poor online reviews, fearing that the company may be trying to steal from them.
Likewise, if a customer perceives that there are too many fake reviews then they are less likely to buy any products from you. Bad news spreads quicker than good news and so if you're perceived to be a fraudulent eCommerce store – even if that's not true, it can take years to repair the damage (if that's even possible).
The key is to ensure that you have a wealth of legitimate online reviews from customers who have genuinely made an online purchase.
Show customers that you care
Let your customers know that you care about them by engaging with reviews. Reply to online product reviews – thanking those who leave positive reviews and seeking to make amends with those shoppers leaving a negative review.
Consumers appreciate brands that are willing to go the extra mile to fix things. It proves how important they consider the relationship between themselves and their customers.
Create better products
Let's say that you've launched a new business that sells soda. You're still developing the product but don't have the budget for in-depth market research. By scouring through product reviews, you can see what people think about the flavor and packaging.
They'll let you know through reviews if the product is too citrusy or too sickly, too big or too small, too expensive or too hard to find. You can use this feedback to make improvements to your product and processes, which will lead to further sales.
How to get more eCommerce reviews
Now that you understand that online reviews are essential to growth, you're probably wondering how you can get more reviews.
From simply asking for feedback to rewarding customers who do, here are the best ways to secure more positive reviews.
Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback is the easiest way to get it, but most consumers are pushed for time and need reminders. Pop-ups on your website are a helpful tool. Inform customers that the review will only take a few minutes, so as not to discourage them.
Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. These answers won't be hugely helpful and can't be used in your marketing campaigns.
Instead, ask open-ended questions. How well does the product meet your needs? What do you love most about the product? Which other item that we sell was of interest to you?
Questions like the last one on the list – what other item that we sell was of interest to you? – are really useful because they can help you to shape your user journey. In this example, you can use this information to put popular products higher up the page and consider reducing the price to convert this from a desired item into a regularly-purchased product.
Nothing encourages customers to act like the promise of a gift, discount code, free shipping, or inclusion in a prize draw.
To do this effectively, simply put the code at the end of the review process on your website. Make it clear to customers that they'll find the free gift after answering all of the questions.
The risk with using incentives is that you'll encourage people to leave feedback for products they've never bought and services they've never used – just to obtain the freebie. This could reduce the share of genuine reviews you have, which can deter new customers from shopping at your online store.
Encourage social media shares
Encouraging your customers to share pictures of your products on their social media pages will boost the number of interactions you receive.
Consider rewarding customers who share images to their Instagram Story. However, for many, simply sharing their picture on your story and crediting them will be enough reward for social media users who want to broaden their reach.
Alternatively, offer an incentive to social media users who share your posts. Only add content that is interesting, authentic, and paints your product or service in a good light.
Send follow-up emails
When a customer purchases a product or service from your eCommerce site, they are required to provide you with their email address. With this information, you can request a review from recent customers.
Setting up an automated system ensures that each customer is contacted within a few days of purchase, requesting a review. The promise of a free gift or discount code for leaving feedback is a surefire way to get a higher proportion of positive reviews.
Engage with reviews
Online customer reviews are a two-way street and the best eCommerce stores respond to all the feedback they receive. If someone leaves a positive review, reply with a thank you.
Negative reviews can be disheartening, but you should use them as an opportunity to show how much you care. Respond to negative reviews with a heartfelt apology and ask if there's anything you can do to make amends.
Most customers who leave bad feedback are wanting a company representative to address their concerns. Managing negative reviews effectively may even cause them to edit their review into a positive one.
Not to mention, negative reviews (as disappointing as they may be) can actually help you to improve your product or service. Don't ignore negative feedback as a result of a bruised ego. Instead, listen to this constructive criticism and use it to inform your future strategies.
Implement a customer review strategy today
Having a large pool of positive online reviews is beneficial to your company. Feedback boosts brand awareness, improves SEO, and makes first-time buyers more confident to use your eCommerce store. You can use reviews in your marketing plan to present your brand as authentic, legitimate, and well-liked.
Rewarding those who leave positive feedback will encourage other customers to do the same, driving sales and boosting your bottom line. Responding to all reviews, especially the negative ones, will show consumers that you're a company that cares about maintaining a positive relationship – even after their money is in your till.
Obtaining positive online reviews is important. Success isn't possible without a clear strategy for building your review pool. But to get good reviews in the first place, your customer service has to be top-notch. eDesk is on hand to support your customer service needs.