Product reviews may be one of the most powerful secrets you have in your eCommerce arsenal. Why? Because 63% of customers are more likely to purchase a product from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.
A good review means the customer is putting their name and reputation behind yours. Once they have recommended your products, they will be less likely to look for other options. They were delighted enough with your product to tell others about it, which is the best form of marketing.
Reviews can also be a compelling way for uncertain pre-buyers to jump the fence and purchase from your store. If you aren’t convinced that customer reviews are being looked at, think again. 70% of people consult reviews before purchasing.
Here are a few ways to you can increase ratings and customer conversions through product reviews.
While product reviews are powerful, they are not always easy to generate. Reviewers are taking a risk on you and your company by putting their name behind yours. Rewarding those that recommend you will result in long-term loyalty and more frequent reviews. Sketchers tried this and found immense success. As Adweek reports, there are 60,000 product reviews and 32,000 questions and answers published by consumers on the Skechers.com website. If you are a part of the Sketchers ‘Elite’ program, you receive points for each review you write on their site. And the best part is that they are not swaying opinions. Whether you write a negative or positive review, you receive Sketchers points.
Product reviews are powerful because they convey trust – a key element to long-term loyalty. If another person was willing to spend their hard-earned money on your product (and was loyal enough to write a review), the potential buyer will be more likely to trust you as well. In an article by Inc, Michael Fertik found that 89% of consumers consider product reviews to be trustworthy. And a positive review can directly impact your bottom line. According to BazaarVoice, UK-based Figleaves found that products with reviews have a 12.5% higher conversion rate than those without.
Optimize Your Store
Product reviews can also help you streamline your website. For example, you may notice customers mentioning that one of your item runs small in their reviews. Add this insight to the product description to keep future buyers from needing to make any returns. Piperlime.com uses a great product review template that allows customers to write up their own review but also answer questions about fit and appearance. They also provide customers with a “rating snapshot” at the top of the page to give a general overview of customer’s opinions.
Email is a perfect vehicle for generating more frequent reviews. Asking for reviews does not need to be time consuming – use email marketing to your advantage and automate this process. Use integration to sync your customers’ order history into your email marketing system to trigger an automated follow up one week after your customer has received their purchase. This will give them enough time to use it and know what they do or do not like about it. Try an email like The Limited sends. It is simple and even provides images of each purchase so the buyer knows exactly what they need to review. The Limited offers great reviews on their items, and that is due largely to the automated follow-up email they send after each purchase.
Great Support is Great for Reviews
While reviews are important, not all reviews are equal. According to ABC, 30% of online reviews are fake. Companies may try to write fake reviews on their own products which can insight extreme distrust for potential buyers. In 2012, Yelp outed companies who were paying people to write positive reviews. If you are worried about negative reviews, you can win over even the most skeptical customer with fantastic customer service. 95% of unhappy customers will return to your business if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently (Social Media Today).
Forrester shows people tend to distrust what companies say about themselves. Only 30% of users trust what a company says on their own website. Yet more than 70% trust reviews from peers and friends. Product reviews can generate massive returns. If you are rewarding reviewers, and encouraging fantastic customer service, it will be simple to gain the positive ratings you need to grow revenue and increase conversions.
Still not convinced? Take a look at these stats:
- 71% agree that consumer reviews make them more comfortable that they are buying the right product/service
- 70% of people consult reviews/ratings before purchasing.
- Customer reviews create a 74% increase in product conversion