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Statistics show that online reviews play a significant role in the success of eCommerce sales. The majority of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase, and in fact 91% of millennials trust these reviews just as much as they trust the opinions of their friends and family. In an online world saturated with ads, it’s never been more important to stand out from the crowd with the help of a sterling customer review.
Tips for Obtaining Online Reviews
Having established the importance of reviews, the next step is actually getting your customers to leave them after having bought a product or service from you.
- Ask customers to leave a review, and then respond to it
The most obvious, and yet very effective, answer to the problem is to simply ask your customers to leave a review. People have busy lives and if you don’t prompt your buyer, the very idea to leave a review is likely to slip their mind. All it could take is a simple email or letter to request one. Then, once you have received a review – make sure you say thank you! If they get a personal reply (rather than an automated acknowledgement) your customers will feel appreciated and more likely to return.
- Make it easy for customers to leave a review
It’s also important to consider the ease with which your customers can leave reviews. If your site is slow or not optimised for smart phones and personal devices, your customers are likely to give up in leaving their review altogether. As well as this, the process for leaving a review must be perfectly clear. Whether you contact your customers via phone, text, email, or letter, they should easily be able to find out how to leave you a review. Probably one of the simplest ways is to send an email with minimal text, displaying one clear ‘Leave Your Review’ link.
- Offer an incentive for leaving a review
While it is not legal to request a good review in return for an incentive, you can offer your customers something in return for leaving a review in general. Many eCommerce companies use tactics such as automatic entry into a competition, or offering a shout out/share on social media. Other ideas could be offering a discount, voucher, or even small gift in exchange for a review. For example, this could be a free starter or 5% off your next meal in the case of an online take-away service.
- Give customers a (good) reason to leave a review
Another simple solution is to give your customers a good reason to want to leave a review. In general people will leave a review when they have experienced particularly good or particularly bad service. Obviously you want your clientele to leave positive feedback, so make sure you leave them happy with your product and/or service. People can spot thoughtless automation, so instead of sending a bland thank you email or acknowledgement, put effort into creating a more personalised automation service which includes names, specific products, and other relevant information such as location. The packaging of your product can also leave customers with a notion to leave you a review. Whether you’re sending a physical product, tickets to an event, or another kind of service, consumers will remember attractive packaging such as colourful wrapping and personalised gift tags.
- Share your reviews
Show appreciation of customers who leave reviews by featuring them on your site or social media. This can have a number of benefits;
- Other potential reviewers might see existing reviews and want to be featured themselves
- Those who have left a review and see it will know how much you value their opinion
- The sight of other reviews could remind other customers that they still need to leave one
Other points to remember
The way you deal with obtaining reviews and what you then do with them must be carefully considered, and there are certain pitfalls to be aware of;
- Ensure your reviews are honest. Not only is it illegal to leave false reviews, but nowadays many eCommerce customers can detect when something seems too good to be true.
- Publish bad reviews as well as good ones. Similar the above point, if all you display are outstanding reviews, visitors to your site will begin to question them. Make sure you show a true reflection of your customers’ thoughts, even if they do have a few negative comments.
- You don’t need loads of reviews for every product. Evidence shows that 90% of people need less than ten reviews to make a decision. This means you should aim to obtain a few reviews for each product or service you offer rather than lots for one single product.
- Keep dates in mind. Even if you have plenty of reviews for your products, if they are all 1 year+ in age, they automatically become less relevant. This is particularly true in the case of food and hospitality.
The opinions of real people are generally much more valuable when it comes to eCommerce sales than adverts are. Today’s savvy internet-users are all too familiar with the overload of paid-ads and the presence of transparent marketing influencers, which means honest reviews from honest customers must do the talking. With a few simple steps you can encourage your consumers to give you helpful feedback, which in turn can drive more conversions and company integrity.
Author’s Bio: Sarah Richards is a Freelance Writer and regular contributor to Essay Writing Service UK blog. When she’s not writing to share her knowledge and expertise on eCommerce matters, Sarah authors informational blogs about travel, education, and other topical subjects. She studied at Southampton University and currently lives in London.