Consumers hate making a purchase only to find out the product is faulty, doesn’t solve their problem, or isn’t what they thought they were getting.
Personal recommendations and word of mouth marketing have always been great ways to increase sales because consumers trust opinions of other consumers.
So today, when there are hundreds and thousands of reviews available online, people jump at the opportunity to read them before making a purchase.
In fact, 88% of people trust online reviews from strangers as much as personal recommendations (source: BrightLocal).
Your buyers are going to look for reviews on your site, or at least for your products.
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Why you need to start collecting reviews
An estimated 61% of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase.
By reading reviews, customers have the chance to understand what others liked or disliked, to mitigate risk, and to have control over their shopping decisions. Basically, they get to prevent making a purchase they will regret.
As a retailer, you want to help customers be happy with their purchases so they will return to your store as a loyal customer. And Reevoo, a review software company, reports that reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales, so by offering reviews on your site, you are helping customers feel secure in their purchase and have a happy experience with your business.
Get reviews for SEO
Another reason to add reviews to your site is the search optimization benefit of related and unique content.
Consumers often Google reviews before buying, and if you offer the reviews they need, they could make the purchase through your site.
For instance, if you Google Dollar Shave Club, one of the suggestions Google offers is Dollar Shave Club Reviews, which indicates several people have searched for Dollar Shave Club Reviews – alluding to the popularity of review reading.
Buyers are probably searching for reviews of your products, too. By adding those reviews you’ll have one more opportunity to get in front of a potential buyer when they are researching their purchase.
Get reviews to improve conversions
An interesting statistic from the Reevoo study showed that even bad reviews can improve conversions by up to 67%. People want to hear complaints about your product!
Consumers are well aware that some reviews are fake, and when they see a small number of poor reviews, they are even more likely to trust all of the reviews on a site.
Get reviews for social proof
Reviews also show off the popularity of your products. When thousands of people have taken the time to leave remarks about their purchases, it shows others that there have been a lot of sales, many people trust the investment, and it feels a whole lot less risky to buy.
Here are some more statistics about the importance of reviews:
- 52% of buyers say they trust a product more if they have a few negative reviews of their product. (Source: Capterra)
- Customers spend 31% more with a business that has “excellent” reviews. (Source: Invesp)
- 30% of consumers say they begin their purchase research by going to Amazon and reading reviews (source: The Harvard Business Review, “What Marketers Misunderstand about Online Reviews,” 2014)
Overall reviews can be a very useful addition to your site: your customers will appreciate them, and you should see an increase in sales and revenue as a result of including them on your site. It’s a win-win-win.
How to get more product reviews
Getting buyers to leave reviews might seem difficult if you’ve never done it before, so follow these steps to simplify the process.
Step 1 – pick a review service
Choose a review product like Reevoo or BazaarVoice to host your reviews. These products make it easy to collect reviews with a simple link in email or social media. The results are all collected and displayed on your site without extra work. Here is what one display of reviews looks like on Dollar Shave Club.
Step 2 – build a workflow to automate asking for reviews
Add a step for review collection to your current marketing automation or email system – one email in a key part of your customer’s journey is all that’s needed to collect these reviews.
A nice feature of marketing automation (and customer service software tools like Kayako) is workflows. These allow you to choose emails to send based on actions taken such as time on your list, links clicked, purchases made, and so on.
To collect more reviews, add a review email into your journey about a week after your product or service has been delivered.
You can add another review request to your journey if you want to send a reminder, but you’ll need to make sure they don’t get the second email if they’ve left a review. This requires another workflow where you’ll only send the second email if they haven’t viewed a certain page on your site.
Here’s an email template you can send asking for a review:
Thank you for your recent purchase with us. We hope you are happy with your purchase. We’d love to hear how satisfied you are with your order. Could you take a moment to leave a review?
Tell Us How Happy You Are With Your Order (button, linked to review page)
We really do appreciate having you as a customer, and we would like to say thank you for choosing us.
If there is anything else we can do for you, please do not hesitate to respond.
This short email explains your gratitude for their purchase and lets them know how important they are to you, while also requesting a review.
Now that your review request campaign is set up, there are a few other ways you can push customers to leave reviews for your products.
- Offer incentives for leaving a review. You can add a simple line to the email above: “If you leave a review this week you’ll get a unique discount code for a future purchase, as a thank you.”
- Ask for reviews for specific items. This is useful when you have a new product that you want to show more social proof around. You would only email people that bought that product, and perhaps give them a coupon for participating in the review.
- Send an email to past buyers asking them to participate in leaving reviews when you launch your review campaign. While the new workflows will likely target new buyers, this adjustment can help bring in loads of reviews to jumpstart your review campaign. A best practice around this is asking your best customers to leave a review. Segment your contacts into a list of customers that have an NPS score of 9 or 10.
Ask your customers for reviews today
There are several benefits to getting reviews on your products, but you won’t see any of them until you start asking. You can set up the above email in no time, and you’ll appreciate the small effort in the future when reviews have started adding to revenue.