Securing customer reviews: your key to ecommerce success
For ecommerce store owners, there aren’t many feelings that can top the satisfaction of reading a glowing review from one of your happy customers. Maybe the only thing better is reviewing your sales figures and seeing that they’re up again this month. But did you know that the two can be closely related? Yes, customer reviews increase conversion rates and average spend to boost sales by up to 18%.
There are two huge reasons why we shouldn’t be surprised by this outcome. First, peer-reviewed research shows that up to 85% of online shoppers regularly read reviews before purchasing, and they’re far more likely to trust consumer reviews over product descriptions written by manufacturers and retailers—almost as much as they trust personal recommendations. Customer reviews effectively fill the gap between online and in-store purchases, by using others’ experience in place of test-driving the products yourself.
Second, there are the SEO benefits that come from placing reviews on your ecommerce website. These reviews represent fresh content in natural language with long-tail keywords that can be indexed by search engines to boost your ranking and increase traffic to your online store. Customers are also 63% more likely to make a purchase from a ecommerce website with user reviews, largely because they don’t have to leave the site to get more trusted information. Of course, your online store isn’t the only place your customers can post reviews.
Where else do customers post reviews?
If you haven’t already set up a Facebook page for your ecommerce store, you’re missing out on a whole lot of opportunities to interact with your customers. And one of those opportunities is customer reviews. Customers can rate your online store and write a review of your products that’s easily accessible by all other Facebook users. You’ll also be notified if customers tag your business name in their posts, and you can also monitor unofficial reviews by searching for your business name.
Google local search
You’ve probably seen Google Maps results off to the right of you main search results—they don’t get there by accident. If your business has a physical presence as well as an online store, you can sign up for Google My Business and take control of your listing. Like Facebook, Google lets your customers leave reviews and rankings, but it offers the advantage of being linked with the largest search engine in the world. And for Android phone users with Google location services turned on, your store listing will pop up when they’re nearby, prompting them to read and write reviews.
If you’re using an omni-channel sales platform like Neto, you might also be selling your products through online marketplaces, such as eBay. Customer reviews are an integrated part of eBay’s product listings, the same way they are on your website. And because of eBay’s history as a private auction site, customers have always been prompted to review products and customer service after every transaction.
It doesn’t matter what your product or service is: if you’re selling something, there’s a review site for it. These range from universal review sites for products and services, like ProductReview, TrueLocal and Yelp, to sites aimed for a particular niche, like TripAdvisor for tourism and hospitality, or GoodReads for books. Find your niche review site by searching for your industry or product type with the word “reviews”.
How can I get more customer reviews?
If you want more customer reviews, you’ll need to ask for them, and make it as easy as possible for your customers to write them. Here are a few ideas:
- Include details about your preferred review sites in transactional emails, including order confirmations and invoices.
- Shortly after a customer receives their order, send them an email asking them to review your product and customer service.
- When asking for feedback via email, give customers a one-click option to rate their experience, and use that click to send them to a more detailed review form.
- Ask customers for reviews via social media.
One last tip:
Don’t be alarmed by less-than-glowing customer reviews, because negative reviews demonstrate trustworthiness and make your positive reviews more believable. They also provide useful information for the 83% of readers who want to compare the details of positive and negative reviews to see if your product is right for their specific purpose. And, finally, they’re an opportunity for you to respond and show customers that you care, by fixing their problems or implementing changes based on their feedback.
Neto is a leading ecommerce platform designed to help your business grow across multiple channels. Its mobile-responsive themes make it easy to place customer reviews and recommendations on your product listings and category pages, where customers and search engines can easily access them. It also offers a wide range of add-on integrations to digital marketing and social media platforms that will help you spread your message further. Now that you know how customer reviews can boost your conversion rates, you might be interested to learn more about how you can keep those customers coming back.