These days, consumers are flocking online to find not only a great deal but also the most desirable product. How can you convince them that your products are the best on the market? Successful eCommerce stores are infusing customer reviews into their eCommerce strategies to provide social proof and encourage customers to make a purchase.
Ready to maximize conversions and finish the year off strong? Here are a few tips on how to make customer reviews part of your eCommerce strategy and capture more holiday shoppers this season.
Why Your eCommerce Strategies Should Include Customer Reviews
Today’s holiday shoppers are tech-savvy and do their research to ensure they get the best product at the right price. If you need further convincing that reviews should be part of your eCommerce strategy, consider these benefits:
- Consumers expect them. A whopping 81 percent of consumers use the internet to research products before making a purchase. A successful site needs customer reviews; otherwise, consumers will look to your competitors for the information they seek.
- Establishes brand trust and credibility. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers regard online reviews as highly as personal recommendations from friends and family. You can leverage customer reviews to give your brand credibility and make potential customers more likely to trust you.
- Boosts SEO. You may be surprised to learn that customer reviews have SEO benefits as well. Not only do customer reviews provide additional content that can help you rank for long-tail keywords, but reviews are also taken into consideration by Google for ranking purposes.
Best Practices for Requesting Customer Reviews
Worried about asking for customer reviews? The good news is that 70 percent of consumers are likely to say yes. Still, there are right and wrong ways to ask for reviews. Here are few best practices that will inspire your audience to leave a testimonial to influence purchasing decisions.
- Ask for them in a post-purchase email. Give the customer enough time to form an opinion of your product. Then, send an email asking them what they think and if they would leave a review. If the customer didn’t respond to your request the first time, consider sending a reminder, like Evernote did in the following example:
- Be personable. You don’t want to sound like a robot with your requests. Use the customer’s name and emphasize that they would be doing you a big favor if they left feedback.
- Consider using third-party review platforms. Third-party review platforms such as Yelp can help customers discover your brand and have a positive impact on your SEO. Plus, they give a sense of legitimacy because it’s a familiar third-party platform that people use every day.
- Offer an incentive. If you’re struggling to get reviews, dangle an incentive in front of them. A small discount on their next purchase will encourage engagement and put them back in your purchase funnel.
It should also be noted that there are also wrong ways to ask for reviews, like bribing consumers in exchange for a review. If consumers find out that your reviews are potentially disingenuous, your reputation as a trusted brand will take a serious hit. Always be transparent and honest with your customer reviews to attract more customers.
How to Leverage Customer Reviews During the Holidays
When holiday shoppers go online to research products, your reviews are already hard at work, but did you know that you can do more with them this holiday season? Here are a few tips to make the most of your reviews for the busy season ahead:
- Use them in Facebook Ads. Want to increase your return on ad spend (ROAS)? Insert customer reviews and testimonials in your Facebook Ads. Giving your Facebook ads a bit of social proof can help you drive more conversions during the holidays.
- Give your customers a shout out. With their permission, ask customers if you can share their review in your email newsletter or on Facebook. Choose glowing reviews from your top-rated products and show them to new leads to capture their interest and loyalty.
- Know how to manage your reviews. Deleting negative reviews is a no-no for eCommerce marketers, but you also shouldn’t allow bad reviews to be neglected. Respond to disgruntled customers and ask how you can make it right. Then, you can offer a personalized incentive to encourage them to return to the shop.
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools in your eCommerce marketing toolbox. Customer reviews can tip the scales and convert hesitant holiday shoppers, driving more revenue to your online store. By following a few best practices, you can start getting more out of your customer reviews and finish the year on a high note.
Want more holiday marketing tips? Check out our free holiday marketing resources to get inspired today!