Many smaller online retailers don’t bother with product reviews or they don’t follow up to encourage their customers to provide them.
Ignoring product reviews on your eCommerce site may be a huge mistake. Let’s take a look at some data that will open your eyes to the importance of product reviews.
- 92 percent of consumers read product reviews
- 40 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews
- 44 percent say a review written within one month is more relevant
- 63 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site that’s product reviews
- 88 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading up to 10 reviews
This data is from research provided by online reputation firm Vendasta.
SearchEngineLand published research claiming that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
When you look at these numbers, it’s difficult to argue against using product reviews.
Some online retailers worry their site may look immature if they don’t have enough reviews. Others fear negative reviews may hurt sales of a product.
Both issues are legitimate concerns. But it’s hard to look away from the positive effect of reviews.
We also published a recent article that talked about how Amazon is becoming a competitor to Google for product research.
Research data and real world behavior demonstrate that product reviews must be an essential part of every eCommerce website.
YOU NEED A FOLLOW UP STRATEGY FOR PRODUCT REVIEWS
First, you must assume that product reviews are not automatic. Most consumers will only leave reviews if they are not completely satisfied.
It’s important to follow up with your sales to make sure your customers are satisfied. When contacting them, politely encourage your customers to leave a positive review.
Obviously, a dissatisfied customer now has a chance to let you know about a problem. By engaging them, they are more likely to respond to you directly.
And you get a chance to fix it the issue hopefully before a bad review is posted.
Keeping in mind that product reviews should not be older than a month, your best strategy is one of multiple follow ups.
Your follow up can be by email. Remember to always thank your customer first for their purchase.
Your first contact should be about 3 days after receipt. Ask if everything went well with the shipping and the item arrived in good condition. Remind your customer you are available to help use the product if needed.
Your second contact should be about 14 days after receipt. Ask your customer if everything is going great with the product and ask them to leave a positive review on your site.
Your third contact should be at the 25 day mark after receipt. This contact should only happen if you had not heard from your customer after the second contact.
Also, the third email should be like the second email, but do change the wording. You may want to say something like we love to hear how our customers use our products.
And keep it simple by offering a star system. Buyers are used to using the 5 star grading system, so it allows those that do not want to write a full review a way to offer feedback.
ENTICE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO LEAVE PRODUCT REVIEWS
If you want to entice a new customer to leave feedback, you could offer a discount on a future order once they leave feedback.
Enticing customers to leave feedback for reviews is a good way to encourage reviews. However, be careful not to offer it too quickly and all the time.
As an alternative, you could offer an entry into a monthly drawing for a gift certificate to your store. Often that will be sufficient to entice consumers to leave feedback.
This method may cost you less than offering discounts on future purchases.
Should you opt for using a gift certificate, make sure you market the winner. When people see real customers are actually getting rewarded, they are more likely to respond.
In conclusion, product reviews matter. You need to use them and you need a strategy to receive them from your customers.
We love to hear from you on how you may have implemented product reviews. Do you have any other great suggestions that may help fellow eCommerce retailers? Please let us know in the comment section below.