9 Ways to Get More Product Reviews for Your eCommerce Store
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Why should you care about receiving 5-star reviews? Because 53% of customers won’t even consider purchasing from a business with less than 4.5 stars. Reviews are said to be one of the strongest influencers when it comes to online conversions. Businesses with more reviews have a higher conversion rate, usually resulting in a 30% increase in average sales.
Revenue from retail e-commerce in the United States was estimated at roughly 768 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. The Statista Digital Market Outlook forecasts that by 2025, online shopping revenue in the U.S. will exceed 1.3 trillion dollars. That’s a lot of lost potential revenue when you don’t capitalize product reviews or social proof.
We'll discuss social proof in this article, including what it is and why it's essential. Then, we'll reveal how to acquire product reviews on your Shopify or BigCommerce stores with 9 great strategies you can use right now.
Why should you care about reviews?
Reviews are a critical part of your online reputation. They are also an important factor in local search engine rankings. When consumers look for local businesses, they often use Google, Bing, and other search engines. The best way to be found is to have positive review stars in the search results. These ratings often convince consumers to click on your listing instead of competitors.
Reviews are critical for increasing sales because they help customers make decisions. People like to read what others have to say about a product or service before making their own purchase. They want to know if it's worth their time and money. Five-star reviews give consumers the confidence to purchase.
Therefore, your online review profile has an impact on both your search results ranking and the likelihood of someone clicking on your listing. The CXL institute discovered that review stars in the SERP increased traffic by 35%.
In summary, your company needs more 5-star ratings to convince prospective customers to choose you over your competition.
What is Social Proof?
As humans, we are social creatures. We need to feel accepted by others and we have a strong desire to belong to a group. Social proof plays on this innate desire to fit in.
When you're looking at your prospects and customers, you can use social proof marketing to convince them that your product or service is the right choice for them. It's easier for people to make decisions if they know that someone else has already done it before them.
How do you decide what restaurants to eat at? What clothes should you wear? What products should you buy? You look to your friends and family. You ask them what they think and what they recommend. What they buy matters most because their opinion is the most reliable — and you want to fit in with them, so you purchase what they have as well. This is social proof in action.
Why Reviews are Vital for Social Proof
It's very simple: People believe what other people say. It is because of this that reviews are good for increasing sales. The premise of social proof is that the majority of individuals will follow the acts of the majority. It's been around for a long time, and it's a simple way to make people feel more confident enough to buy something (or buy into something). Just like a glowing recommendation from a friend, a 5-star review can help customers feel confident in choosing your product.
The person who wrote the review also makes a difference. Reviews written by someone who was a "verified buyer," "power buyer," or won a free sample or giveaway are more important to customers than reviews written by people who didn't win or were not verified.
9 Ways to Get More Product Reviews
Receiving positive reviews from customers is an important factor in your business’ success. The biggest eCommerce businesses have hundreds or even thousands of client reviews. When you're just starting out, that amount is far lower of course.
There are many ways to write a product review. It can be just one sentence, or it can be up to 500 words. However, the best ones include the product's upsides and downsides, as well as the customer's own experiences of both. When asking for reviews, be transparent, honest, and sincere. Keep in touch with them and let them know how important their thoughts are to you.
Here are 9 helpful tips on how to get more reviews for your Shopify or BigCommerce business.
- Be straightforward and just ask.
Get more reviews by requesting them from your customers and asking them for their feedback. However, you will only receive more reviews when you ask more.
As an example, when Etsy requested its customers to submit a review with a follow-up email or text message, over 25% of purchases on their website got reviewed.
Etsy also enables customers to review products up to 100 days after purchase. This way the reviews are more accurate since most customers will have had the chance to try the product. You should also know that 30 percent of buyers assume that reviews are false if there aren’t any unfavorable remarks. This is why the reviews need to be balanced, which is what you'll get from actual, genuine customers.
So, if you want more reviews, you should send out multiple review requests. We propose sending out an email review request and one or two follow-up emails.
The reasoning for this is simple: many customers forget about their purchase after a few days. Therefore, if you wait too long before sending the initial email, most customers will not be able to recall their purchase. And if you are too late in sending the follow-up emails, then your customers may have already forgotten about your original request.
- Make it easy to give a review
Even if a consumer had a positive experience with your company, unfortunately, they are unlikely to go out of their way to write a review. And another thing, customers who have had a terrible experience are more likely to go out of their way to voice out their thoughts. In fact, negative reviews are three to four times more common than positive ones. So, how can you persuade customers who had positive encounters to express their thoughts? You need to make things as easy as possible.
Here are a few quick ways to make it so:
- Give them a quick and easy way to locate you on review sites.
- Ensure that you approach them at the appropriate moment, which is neither too soon nor too late.
- Give an incentive for posting a review, such a discount on future products or services.
- Inform them that reviews may make a significant difference in your business and help other people find your business online.
- Offer customers alternative options for writing reviews (e.g., Google, Facebook, Yelp)
Many customers, as you may have noticed, purchase many products at the same time. This is typically because they want to save on shipping or simply want to save time by ordering everything in one store.
It would be inefficient for both of you if you had to perform separate follow-ups and ask customers to review each thing one at a time. It would be beneficial for both of you if you included all of their purchases in your email to them. You could accomplish this by verifying your database or by utilizing a ratings and review platform. Even better if the platform makes it such that the review goes on to the next item after being written.
The fewer steps there are to leave a review, the better and the more you will collect since no one likes to keep going back and forth between emails, right?
- Stress the importance of customer reviews to your staff
Encouragement and usage of consumer feedback should be ingrained in your company's culture at all times. It’s important to stress the importance of reviews to your employees in order to have a well-oiled review gathering machine.
If you have a physical location, place a sign up in the shop with the URL to write reviews. Even better, you could have a device setup there to let customers leave reviews
Request feedback from customers on your website and after they have finished their transaction if you do business online. You could also train your staff to request for customer feedback at the end of any customer calls.
Again, the best way to earn more 5 star reviews is to just ask for them but you can't do it all by yourself so your employees should also know how important it is.
Apart from proactively seeking reviews, your staff should always be on top of customer reviews. This is because some customers leave glowing reviews just because of their interaction with a staff they liked. Your staff is an extension of your company so if they don’t act like it, it could deter you from getting 5-star reviews or any star at all!
- Use surveys to get customer responses
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In such a fast paced environment like today, some people simply don’t have the time to leave reviews. Others are too lazy to write something up and will write something short that doesn’t do much for your product.
So the best way is to do a survey. HOWEVER, you have to make this survey easy to answer and understand. It should be too long as well. If you ask multiple questions, people may stop filling out the survey… and if they don’t, they may not be answering all of them thoughtfully. This can skew your results and make it harder to draw actionable conclusions from them.
Here are some popular options where you can create a survey online:
Make sure to inform customers what the survey is for, how long it will take (ideally less than 5 minutes of their time), and where the information will be used.
Make sure you ask them about their experience with your business, what they like about it, and if they’d recommend it to others. Don’t worry about sounding too salesy — after all, this is exactly the kind of thing people are looking for when they visit a testimonials page or read product reviews.
Surveys are a little different than the other tactics because they don’t directly generate social proof. But they're a great way to get customer feedback in general. You can learn what you’re doing and well and what parts of your business need some improvement.
- Showcase your existing reviews somewhere visible on your website
Social proof is meant to be shown off in public and customers are more likely to purchase from you if you include positive reviews. Consider adding a few reviews directly on your homepage. Post customer feedback on specific product reviews if you have it.
Not to toot our own horn but we’ve gotten over 200 reviews on Google and though not all of them are perfect, we’re gotten a lot of positive feedback. We utilize this by making sure to highlight the best ones and display them on our homepage.
It's incredibly easy for customers to submit reviews on Google and it's easy for businesses as well to gather so make sure you utilize their platform. After you've acquired a few reviews, utilize them to your advantage. Display Google reviews on your website by embedding it to increase your conversions.
You can even build a completely new page devoted to hosting excellent testimonials with a link in your top nav. Just make sure you get them on your site in a method that works for your product.
- Post your reviews on social media
Showing up your reviews on social media can be as easy as making an Instagram post with your greatest reviews or uploading a video of a customer review on Facebook. You can also build a curated page on your website with all the reviews you’ve received from other sites, and then post that page on social media for an easy method to generate additional visibility for your company.
This does two things: 1) You encourage more people to post reviews on your social media feeds by showing everyone that you respect their feedback. 2) You may acquire a ton of purchases since the reviews work as social proof. The greatest thing is that it’s on social media.
Social proof is really quite important on social media, and it can serve as a passive income stream in minutes.
- Allow pictures to be used in your reviews
It's been widely shown that people respond better to visuals than plain text. After all, humans are visual creatures. We process images way faster than we do text, which is why images can be effective in getting our attention and persuading us to take action.
When it comes to your ecommerce store, visual persuasion works in getting consumers to leave reviews of your products.
The use of pictures helps to verify that the reviews are from actual individuals. Most websites, such as Amazon and Yelp, enable customers to put their names and an image in their profile as well as upload photos in their review.
The majority of people will just leave a snapshot of the item, however some customers want to provide extensive reviews. Images like these are more appealing to customers.
If you want to ask users to submit a profile photo of themselves on your site, the best way is to ask them to create an account (of course, you'd need to give an incentive).
Now, people can be a bit lazy and if they have to write a review, people will just not do it. But, we are in the age of selfies and everyone wants to share their photos on social media. You could take advantage of this and ask your customers to share a photo of them with your product on social media.
Because the reviews are coming from a REAL person, they seem more genuine. Visuals are powerful, and by putting a face behind the review, more people will perceive that it is genuine.
- Respond to your reviews whether good or bad.
Let's say you've had some wonderful feedback, a lot of people have purchased your products, and you're feeling pretty good about yourself.
Then one day you come across a nasty review. Ouch.
That will sting regardless of the circumstances. No matter how great you think your product is working, you'll receive a terrible review at some point.
You may think that the best thing you can do with negative reviews is to ignore them, but it definitely isn’t. Here’s a good process to follow for negative reviews:
- Tell the upset customer how to contact you.
- Explain how you’ll make it right.
Bad reviews aren't always a bad thing. It gives you the opportunity to showcase what's working or to discover new methods to enhance your product or promotion.
If you've made any adjustments to your product in response to past unfavorable reviews, you may "revive" all of those negative reviews by responding to them and informing them that you've improved the product. Then, with the new and better product, ask them to give you a chance and try it out.
You can also use negative reviews in your marketing material to demonstrate to customers that you care about what they think. Nobody wants to do business with a company that does not value its customers. This could even increase your customer relationship, and they will be delighted to spread the word!
Now if you’ve got some good reviews, great! Use this as a chance to sell your brand even further. Here are a few tips:
- Thank the customer for the positive review and be specific.
- Use words like your business name and keywords in your review response so that it can come out in search engines
- Add a little marketing to your review response by giving them a bit more info on why the product was so good. Make it engaging!
- Invite customers to do something in your response. Ask the customer to return, try another product or service, or spread the word. Give them something to look forward to and leave things on a good note.
- Use customer review managing tools to optimize reviews
Once you've mastered product reviews, they may stream in, making it difficult to handle manually. It's a good thing there are a multitude of product review tools accessible to assist you in managing your customer reviews. Whatever eCommerce platform you choose, whether it's Shopify or BigCommerce, we're sure you'll be able to discover one that works for you.
Here are some platforms you can use to promote and manage reviews for your products and services.
- Google My Business
- Facebook Recommendations
- Trust Pilot
- Product Reviews by Shopify
Take into account the best review platform for your company and create an account on the one that is aligned with your industry and business goals.
Even though there is no magic bullet that will deliver your site glowing product reviews every day, there are steps you can take to make it more likely.
If you follow these nine tips, you’ll soon see a positive increase in the number of reviews for your eCommerce store. This will help you build trust and authority through social proof and also encourage repeat business from existing customers.
In the end, it is important to remember that it all comes down to providing an excellent customer experience. Whether you are using a shopping cart, dropshipping or selling on another platform, the key is finding more ways to connect with your customer. So make sure you are optimizing your website for conversions by using powerful sales driven design and having strong call-to-actions throughout your site.
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