Improving your ecommerce website's customer reviews

Strangely, we live in a world today where the opinions of complete strangers can help to shape our decision making.

If a diner tells you that they make the best cheeseburgers in the world, you’re probably going to be a bit skeptical. But if 100+ people on the internet tell you that a restaurant makes the best cheeseburgers in the world, you’re probably going to head over to the diner as soon as you can to order some of their cheeseburgers.

As strange as that may sound, it does actually make sense. People naturally trust other people way more than they trust the advertising slogans of companies, brands, or business owners.

This makes customer reviews a hugely powerful resource for you and your e-commerce store.

In fact, Brightlocal conducted a ‘Local Consumer Review Survey’ at the beginning of this year they found that around half of all consumers trusted online reviews “as much as personal recommendations from family and friends”. Interestingly, they also found that the number and frequency of people searching for reviews online has increased over the past two years.

So, what can you do to increase and improve your customer reviews for your e-commerce store?

If something goes wrong, make sure you fix it

As obvious as this might sound, the report published by Brightlocal found that 80% of its participants were either likely (43%) or highly likely (37%) to leave a positive review, if a business was able to turn an initially negative experience into a very positive experience.

Making an effort to rectify any mistakes, like sending out a product in the wrong size, can go a long way towards getting that all important positive review.

Respond to all your reviews, good or bad

Brightlocal’s report found that 89% of consumers would be more likely to use a business that responds to all of its reviews, compared to a business that only responds to just the good ones.

This is likely because business’ that constructively and thoughtfully respond to bad reviews demonstrate that they actually care about what their customers think or feel. This level of care can go a long way toward securing long-term and loyal customers.

Ask permission to contact your customers during the billing process

As an e-commerce business its highly likely that you’re going to ask your customers for an email address, likely for receipt or invoicing purposes.

Whilst collecting this data, ask if it would be okay to send them an email with a review form attached. Only 18% of people surveyed by Brightlocal reported to have “never” left a review after being prompted to.

Call-To-Actions (CTAs)

Similar to the previous one, subtly incorporate call-to-actions throughout your site encouraging your customers to leave you a review. Avoid using plain and boring CTAs like “leave a review here” and try and add a touch of personalization with something as simple as “We’d love to hear your thoughts”.

Simple & Easy

Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Are you going to want to fill in a 5-page document that requires Harvard referencing and 30 minutes of your time?

Absolutely not. And neither are your customers. So, make sure your review forms are simple, easy to fill out and easy to navigate through.

You want to make the review process as easy as possible for your customers.

Social Media

All of the mainstream social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter offer services in which they are able to ask relevant people specific questions about your business.

This can be a great way to get consumers to conveniently answer questions about your business as they scroll through their feeds.

A Review Incentive

A great way to drum up reviews is by offering your customers some form of incentive to leave a review. This might include something along the lines of free gift or discount with their next order.

Not only will it encourage people to leave a review, but it will also encourage customers to return back to your store so that they can redeem their free gift/discount.

Use open ended questions in your review form

Open ended questions will enable your customers to provide their own feedback and not just tell you what they think you want to hear.

Create as many different spaces to leave reviews as possible

Not everyone gets, or writes, their reviews in the same place. Some people look to Google, whilst others may look to Facebook, Yelp or even Amazon for their review source of choice.

Make sure you have established a presence across all of these review platforms and that you regularly monitor them.

Lastly, but arguably most importantly…

Give your customers something to shout about!

The best way to get your consumers to write a positive review is by giving them a positive experience!

Make sure that your orders are sent out on time; clearly communicate with customers; ensure that your website is easy to use and navigate; or reward loyal customers with a one-off discount every now and again.

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