Online reviews have become an essential feature of almost all of ecommerce websites, because they have been proven to boost sales, as many shoppers base their decisions to purchase on positive reviews. Because of this, it's essential that you focus on increasing these reviews if you want to take your online business to new heights of success.
According to a survey conducted by Search Engine Land in 2014, about 88% of customers are more likely to purchase from a site that has positive user reviews. Website reviews are "trust signals" that inspires confidence in the minds of consumers. They describe features or qualities of a website from the customers' lens, which provides more credibility to the products or services offered on the site. When shoppers read impartial and independent positive reviews of a website, they are more likely to buy from it. Reviews also help in boosting search engine rankings as the crawlers highly rate unique, fresh content that is generated from them.
To help you get started, we’ve provided 8 helpful ways to grow your online reviews to improve your website traffic and conversion rates.
Offer Free Credits to Customers
Positive customer reviews are invaluable in improving the credibility of your site. However, most customers don't leave any reviews after purchasing a product or service. This is can be because they are not satisfied or surprised with your offerings, or simply because they don't have any incentive to write lengthy feedback about your site.
Offering customers something for free would not only surprise them but also provide an incentive to leave a positive reply about your business. For example, consider offering free credits to spend within 24 hours and request them to leave a review in return.
Use Third Party Review Providers
Another great way to increase reviews is by using third party providers, such as Bazaarvoice or Reevoo. The reviews generated by these third parties are reliable, authenticated reviews made by actual customers who have purchased products or services from the site. This is an effective and easy way to build trust and boost the credibility of your online store.
Increase User Engagement
A fantastic way to increase site reviews is by establishing yourself as an industry expert. You can do this by writing industry-related articles or expert advice and tips about the products or services offered on your site.
When you position yourself as a thought leader, people will start trusting you and sharing your content with others, increasing user engagement and thus, customer reviews.
Focus on Delighting Loyal Customers
Positive reviews can lead to even more customers, and if you focus on delighting your existing shoppers and forging long-term relationships, you could turn them into loyal shoppers, while also also garnering positive reviews from them.
According to an article published on Forbes.com, more than 80% of a company's future revenues will come from about 20% of its most loyal customers. To satisfy your existing customers, reward them with discounts and special deals to help make them repeat customers and generate positive reviews of your products or services.
Explore Email Marketing Software
Email marketing has been proven to be the second best medium to boost online sales after search engine marketing. If you’re serious about increasing your revenue and creating a community around your shoppers, email marketing software is an essential component of your strategy.
You have a few options when it comes to email marketing: you can contact a third party company, purchase email marketing software or use the features that come with your ecommerce platform.
Whichever method you choose, you will first need to compile a verified list of email addresses of your target customers. You can then send them automated emails offering discounts and other incentives in return for a positive product review. Keep in mind that this strategy is most effective when you send the emails a few days after a product or service is purchased from your site.
Leverage Social Media
The immense popularity of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and others have made them an ideal platform to connect with the customers. Social media networks can be effective sources of attracting website reviews from your customers. Your online customers are more likely to leave product or service feedback on these channels instead of your ecommerce site, and effective use of social media can help increase your conversions.
Enable Ratings and Reviews on Your Site
Many ecommerce software providers, including Volusion, offer customer review features that you can add to your online store. If you are looking for software to run an online store, consider this feature during your search. If you are already using a specific platform and the feature is available, enable it to start generating ratings and reviews as soon as possible.
Ensure Complete Customer Satisfaction
In the end, the most effective and reliable way to generate reviews is to offer exceptional services to your customers. Remember that customers do not owe you loyalty; instead, you must earn it by ensuring complete customer satisfaction.
On a final note, increasing reviews will certainly help in boosting online sales and profits, and your business may not be able to generate revenues without them. By following these tips to increase customer reviews, you will positively impact your ecommerce website allowing you to ramp up both conversion rates and revenues.
About the author
Jyoti Mali is the Head of Digital Marketing at TIS India, where she leads strategy for multi-channel digital advertising for in-house accounts & agencies globally. Being a Google Analytics Certified (IQ) Professional & Ecommerce Analytics Qualified Consultant, she loves playing with Analytics & helping clients with actionable insights.