The digital age boasts many benefits for consumers and retailers, but it’s also challenging for the latter in new ways. Consumers have much shorter attention spans, much busier lifestyles, and a wealth of options. This tech-savvy audience, notably, values reviews; they offer the quick, honest reassurance that can finalize a sale. However, many retailers will attest to the difficulty of getting reviews at all. As such, we’ve gathered seven tips for getting more customer reviews for your eCommerce store in a handy list.
Getting More Customer Reviews For Your eCommerce Store
Positive reviews can drive sales; this should be indisputable. Satisfied customers that attest to the quality of a product incentivize more customers to follow suit. On the other hand, negative reviews can be quite damaging; not sorting them out in time can deter customers. But the biggest challenge for many eCommerce stores seems to be getting reviews in the first place.
There are many possible reasons for this, with the most common offenders being not asking, not making it easy, and not incentivizing reviews. But getting more customer reviews for your eCommerce store can extend far beyond addressing those common factors. Consider the following seven steps.
#1 Simply ask
The most straightforward first step is to ask for reviews. This may seem like a redundant tip to start the list with, but many stores fail to do it.
There are many ways to do it; engaging through social channels, reaching out with post-purchase emails, and so on. In fact, those specific ways will get their own sections just below. But the general philosophy of this first step is simple; ask to receive. Customers are not very keen on leaving reviews by themselves, but they do often respond to requests. Chatbot automation alone proves this.
#2 Make it easy
Leaving reviews isn’t very difficult most of the time. Still, making it as easy as possible can help with getting more customer reviews for your eCommerce store.
In this regard, consider the following ways to make your customers’ lives easier.
- Make it mobile-friendly; mobile users and shoppers continuously increase.
- Keep it simple; use visible links and CTAs to avoid time-consuming navigation.
- Make text boxes optional; let customers decide their reviews’ length, depth, and details.
Of course, you should still strike an ideal balance. For example, you may want to avoid having customers log in to make it easier, but verified purchases are valuable. So weigh such factors, but always aim to make it as easy as can be. Much like UX enhancements, it’s still a vital factor.
#3 Reach out with a post-purchase email
A tried-and-tested way to ask for reviews, as highlighted above, is to ask. At the same time, you want to ensure your reviews come from actual customers. So, a post-purchase email can work wonders.
However, note that there’s an appropriate time to do so. Depending on the product, your typical audience, and even regional factors, there’s an optimal time for this outreach. Use your data and insights to determine it and consider automating it with an appropriate delay after checkout or delivery.
Infographic created by Fiserv, an omnichannel commerce company
#4 Focus on reviews for luxury products
With the previous steps covered, you should then focus on specific products. This is a vital distinction to make, for a few curious reasons; reviews for luxury products might matter the most.
Reviews, by definition, offer a window into how people perceive your product. Perhaps because of their price and perceived value, more expensive products often get more reviews. As such, prioritizing getting more customer reviews for your eCommerce store for those products can be very lucrative.
For one, you’re likely not starting from zero; customers are already more likely to leave reviews for those products. Because of this, you need to focus on getting even more reviews instead of struggling to get any in the first place. Such focused efforts generally tend to be more cost-effective. Similarly, customers are often more reliant on reviews for such products than cheaper or expendable ones. Thus, building confidence in them is even more important and potentially more profitable.
Your product focus aside, customers are increasingly eager to engage with your brand on social media. In turn, this presents an excellent opportunity to engage and ask for reviews there.
Recent years have seen eCommerce shift to social media platforms, and the reasons are too many to go over here. What’s important is that customers want to engage, and reviews are a great means to do so. Consider, for example, how sharing reviews on social media can inspire confidence and build trust. Of course, you should include an opt-in form to do so under permission, but it’s an invaluable asset.
#6 Respond to reviews
On the subject of engagement, responding to reviews has a plethora of benefits. It incites engagement, makes the relationship feel authentic, and, in this context, encourages more reviews.
Of course, not all review forms offer direct response options, and not all reviews can always be responded to. But doing so whenever possible has notable benefits; customers can retract bad reviews if their issues are resolved. Acknowledged positive reviews can build further trust. And, frankly, visible engagement drives more engagement. Customers are far more likely to leave reviews if they know they’re seen and valued.
#7 Incentivize reviews
Finally, if all else falls short, you may want to consider actively incentivizing reviews. This tip is so low on this list because it’s effective, but it’s also a last resort.
Raffles, discounts, coupons, points; any rewards of some monetary value can incentivize reviews. However, it may also be perceived as a cheap tactic by some customers and reduce confidence. Google’s Seller Rating guidelines have also made this tactic harder since October 2020. Thus, it’s still an option, but it might be better to try to incentivize reviews in other ways first.
With all of the above in mind, let us conclude by repeating a key point. Getting more customer reviews for your eCommerce store matters, and it will likely matter even more as time goes on. Keep leaving reviews simple, engage, be responsive, and simply ask. Results may not be immediate, but the long-term benefits will be substantial.