Maybe you’ve heard about social proof. Social proof is the idea that 3rd party endorsements can and do influence buying behaviors. In other words, product reviews and / or testimonials can influence someone to buy a product. Not sure about you but if reviews about a product are available, you can bet the farm that I will read them. Apparently I’m not alone.
According to the data 88% of customers consult reviews before making a purchase decision. That’s a lot of people. Think about the last thing you purchased online. Did you read reviews prior to your decision to buy it? How much of an influence did those reviews have on your decision?
For an eCommerce retailer, product reviews can more than double conversion rates. If you aren’t currently capturing them, you need to start. Don’t worry, with just a little effort you can start capturing valuable feedback from your customer base to use on your website. Depending on the type of website you have installing a plugin may be all it takes to get started. WordPress for example has many 5 star review plugins and other variants for capturing feedback from your customer base.
Different Types of Social Proof
Choosing the right review system will be based on the type of website you have and the type of product. Sites with a lot of products typically benefit from a star based system. This makes it easy for individuals to rate the product without having to actually leave a typed review. Additionally it helps to get reviews on all of your products not just the popular ones. Products that are higher priced benefit the most since any confirmation will help you the retailer to sell more. Positive endorsements on these products will increase conversions by confirming and approving the higher cost associated with them to interested buyers.
- Review Star System – buyers rate the product on a scale of 1-5 and can also leave a comment. Amazon does this well, so does, reviewers can upload images also.
- Testimonial – best for service oriented companies where the customer leaves a comment about the product/service and endorses it.
- Customer Blurb – Random comments spoken by someone about a company/product/service
- Logo display – A page of Logos from customers you’ve done business with
- Celebrity Endorsement – Someone famous or well known says something about your product/service
Consider making a small investment into an app if needed. Get all the features and convenience available. It will be money well spent.. Each product stands to get hundreds of reviews. It may also provide you, the retailer, with some valuable insight on what products you can sell long term and which ones you should dump – quickly.
But while you’re busy watching the product reviews on your website pour in, don’t neglect any feedback left on other places acrosss the web like Google. These can have a fairly large impact on your SEO strategy and visibility within search results. While you have less control over these types of reviews about your business, they should not be ignored. For example, responding to all of them in a timely manner, and addressing any customer issues immediately, when they occur is crucial. Stay on top of what people are saying about your brand across all relevant social media channels.
Prepare for Negative Feedback
When hosting a review system on your website, be prepared for negative feedback. It’s impossible for everyone to love everything you sell. Unless negative feedback starts to overwhelm the positive don’t remove any of it. Negative feedback serves a very important purpose of confirming the positive reviews. If people visit your site and only see positive reviews on all of your products, not only will they not trust the products, they won’t trust you as a retailer. I always try to remember that consumers are way smarter than our strategies give them credit for. For the record, I’d remove products from your line before tampering with negative reviews.
How To Get Purchasers to Leave a Product Review
Now that you’ve got a review system installed on your website, you need to give it a jump start. Wondering how? It’s quite simple actually. Using your inventory tracking software print a list of the orders over the last month. For this particular task you will also need their email address and the item that they ordered. If you get loads of orders in any given month you may not be able to reach everyone with this task but next month you will…and the month after that and the month after that.
You’ll want to devise a special or a lure for your customers to leave a review. Maybe it’s 25% off their next purchase or free shipping, but give them an incentive that also brings them back to your site in exchange for their review. Send out as many emails as you can from a template you create asking them for an honest review of their purchase(s). Give extra bonus points for uploading a picture and watch the magic happen.