On Jan, 2 2020
Ecommerce customer reviews a powerful marketing tool that all online businesses should leverage. When customers recommend certain products to their friends and family, they inspire trust in a company and help to build brand awareness.
Happy customers also help e-merchants drive sales, as online shoppers trust each other’s authority and often make purchase decisions based on peer recommendations.
So what can an e-merchant do to proactively generate social proof? The best strategy is to collect customer testimonials and ask for e-commerce product reviews.
According to one study, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. And, 56% of the same study’s participants picked a business because it had positive star ratings or reviews. Customers see reviews and testimonials as credible and authoritative as they add a sense of transparency. Even bad reviews can be good if handled correctly because they give e-merchants an opportunity to showcase their amazing customer support.
In this post, we first discuss the importance of reviews in eCommerce. Then we explore how to ask happy customers for reviews and testimonials. Finally, we look at how to best leverage eCommerce customer reviews for social proof.
How important are customer reviews for online marketing?
Reviews are customer opinions usually left on third-party review sites, like Google, Facebook, or Yelp. While reviews are can be dangerous to a brand, as there’s nothing stopping customers from writing a negative review, they are instrumental in boosting trust and establishing brand authority.
Ecommerce customer reviews play a huge role in converting an interested browser into a paying customer. Customers read reviews in the last stage of the purchasing funnel. They already have the clear intention of purchasing a product, they just need a bit of reassurance before they buy.
Even though what reviewers say about a brand is largely out of the e-merchant’s control, there are some steps that marketers can take to get more positive reviews.
How to ask for eCommerce product reviews
Acquiring e-commerce product reviews is not a complicated process. In fact, 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if a business simply asks them to. But what’s the best way to reach out to them? Here are a few tips to get started.
Strike while the iron's hot
When asking customers for testimonials or reviews, timing is key. E-merchants need to catch shoppers at a positive moment, like when they’re super excited about having just received their order.
Send automated post-purchase campaigns
Perfectly time customer outreach with an automatic post-purchase campaign using a marketing automation tool. These platforms can automatically send emails, SMS, and Facebook Messages a specific amount of time after a purchase. Take into account shipping times when setting up the campaign to ensure that the package arrives before the post-purchase campaign. A post-purchase campaign should include a short survey (1-3 questions) asking about the customers’ experience with their new product.
Make it easy
If you want a high response rate, make it extremely easy for customers to give e-commerce product reviews. The smaller the effort people have to put in, the more likely they’ll write one. For e-merchants who want customers to review their product on a third-party review site, send them an automatic email with a single link that takes them directly to the review website. Make it as straightforward as possible, the lower the number of clicks needed, the higher the chance of getting a review.
When composing the message asking for an e-commerce customer review, e-merchants need to be transparent about why they want the review, and how they’re going to use it. Don’t need to go into too much detail - just be frank and say something like “we’d appreciate it if you could write a review so other people will trust our products, too.”
Offer something in return
Instead of just asking customers for a favor, offer them a special reward for writing a review. Discounts, coupon codes, and free shipping on a future purchase are a great way to thank customers for their support. This way, e-merchants get more than just a review from a satisfied customer, they also build loyalty and incentivize shoppers to make another purchase.
How to best use eCommerce customer reviews
Make the most of reviews for SEO
Encouraging customers to write reviews about your products not only builds awareness and trust, but it can also boost a brand’s SEO ranking. Reviews are SEO powerhouses, they are user-generated content packed with relevant keywords. A constant flow of new reviews will regularly update product pages with fresh content that search engines can crawl. E-merchants can do this by adding a website plugin that displays reviews next to each product.
Reviews also provide great content for rich snippets in SERPs, and since rich snippet reviews can increase click-through rates by 10-20%, this isn’t something that e-merchants should ignore.
Respond to negative reviews
Never leave a negative review unanswered. E-merchants who don’t reply to negative reviews miss out on an opportunity to show potential customers that they know how to handle complaints and provide support. Always remain calm and professional, and offer to find a solution. Suggesting to take the conversation elsewhere, such as to a customer support call or a live chat, is also a good idea.
We hope this overview will help you be more strategic about asking for e-commerce product reviews. Any e-commerce business can benefit from social proof, it’s just a matter of obtaining and using reviews wisely.