Why do I need customer reviews on my ecommerce site?
When you are setting up a new ecommerce business, displaying customer reviews on your site is really important in establishing trust with your new customers – which means more sales for you!
Customer reviews are essential in creating social proof. This marketing term basically means that we as consumers are swayed by the opinions of others. If we can see that other consumers have bought a product and are happy with it, it confirms our choice and makes us far more likely to purchase that item. Many customers will automatically look for social proof now that product reviews are so commonplace, especially on larger ecommerce sites. So, if your ecommerce site doesn’t have customer reviews, you’re likely to miss out on valuable business.
Not only do customer reviews establish social proof, credibility and trust in your site, there’s some other very welcome benefits of setting them up.
1) Feedback improves your business
You can use the feedback you gain from receiving customer reviews to get a great insight into your products and website. If there are things that can be improved, then this is the best way of finding out. How else can you improve and evolve your business to make it the best it can be?
2) Positive SEO effects
Including customer reviews on your site can actually improve your SEO rankings by generating fresh, unique content for your page, and expanding your content. People who are leaving a review are likely to use the same keywords as people who are searching for that product, which is really important in SEO.
3) Even bad reviews can be good!
You wouldn’t think it, but your site will actually seem more credible if you have a mixture of positive and negative reviews. A site with only fantastic reviews will appear fake. Of course, you want there to be more positive than negative reviews, but even bad feedback can be used to your advantage – depending on how you respond to those who have had a poor experience. Replying quickly and politely, with a resolution to the problem, can help you demonstrate your fantastic customer service and show you are listening to your consumers. A professional response to a bad review can be an extremely powerful form of advertising.
How do I get customer reviews on my ecommerce website?
There are various options you can consider when setting up customer reviews for your site:
Use an ecommerce review app
There are various apps you can use to collect customer reviews on your website, such as Bazaarvoice, Reevoo, Yotpo, and Ratings Widget. Most will work with all ecommerce platforms and some are free, so it shouldn’t break the bank setting this up. Many big ecommerce sites, such as Tesco and Argos, use these apps to add reviews to their sites. It’s a great way to build up reliable reviews for products without having to contact customers individually.
Reviews are also authenticated, so your future customers can be assured that the reviews are genuine and have actually been left by previous customers who have bought the product.
Downsides include the fact that such reviews tend to just review the product, rather than the experience of buying from your site in particular, as reviews are commonly syndicated.
Email your customers
A great way of getting reviews is to contact your customers via email after they have purchased one of your products, asking them for a review. The timing of this is very important. You need to allow enough time for them to have received the product but they should also have been using it long enough to know whether they like it or not. Most of all, you want their purchase to still be fairly recent in their memory.
Make the process easy for your customers
Your customers are busy people so you want to make it as easy, and quick, as possible for them to leave you feedback. Some might not have lots to say, or might just be in a rush, so asking for a quick rating out of five is a good way of ensuring they don’t have to expend too much energy. You can choose to have them review the product as a a whole, or to ask for three or four ratings of different features of the product, such as ease of installation, price and delivery, to give potential customers a bit more information to use in their decision making. Give them the option to leave more detailed feedback text as well, in case they want to say more.
Display customer reviews prominently
Make sure you display your reviews in a clearly visible position on your site, to make it easy for your potential customers to find. A survey by iPerceptions showed customers are 63% more likely to buy if a website displays their customer reviews. It’s also a good idea to consider sharing reviews on your social media platforms to boost your profile.
How do I moderate and manage my reviews?
For your reviews to have the desired impact of building customer trust, and converting that to increased sales, they need to be perceived to be trustworthy and genuine. Sadly, not every online review is genuine. Some are a personal attack or attempt to sabotage a company, others are designed only to promote the reviewer.
These kinds of reviews can be damaging to your reputation and brand. The important thing to remember is to be genuine yourself. If you are ever found out to be leaving or promoting false feedback, this will have a far more negative effect on your business than dealing professionally with what is usually quite obvious sabotage.
Be careful when you’re moderating your customer reviews. Make every effort to deal with negative reviews to a point of customer satisfaction, and check that positive reviews are genuine and credible.
Overall, the benefits of including customer reviews on your ecommerce site massively outweigh the potential risks, as long as you commit to being open and gracious to receiving feedback. Don’t take things personally, just use each review as a potential for learning. Good luck!