eCommerce Insiders

How to Get More Product Reviews

Do you know what a dead site is?

No, it’s not a site no one had visited for years. Nor that ancient looking one with animated gif icons and funny backgrounds. Nope, that’s not it either. Sorry, you’re wrong here.

Yet, I am sure you have seen many dead sites before. Hell, you might have even seen one today, who knows? The Internet is full of them.

You can tell that the site is dead because no one updates it. It’s one where new content hasn’t been seen in years. A site on which nothing changes, one on which there are absolutely no signs of life.

It’s a site you would never buy from.

But coincidentally, many ecommerce sites would fall under this category. And that’s in spite of the fact that those businesses are far from being closed down. In fact, they are often doing pretty well.

Keeping the site alive and updated is one of the top activities every eCommerce owner should perform, and from my experience, does. However, if you do it and do it constantly for a prolonged periods of time, you are bound to run out of ideas.

Sure you can put that new blog post up, or update your products but that often might not be enough. Not all of your visitors will see your blog. In fact, many won’t go beyond a product page. Yet showing them that your site is frequented should be the key focus of what you do.

If that’s the problem you are facing, the solution is easy then.

Reviews.

Getting fresh reviews is a way to keep the site alive.

But is keeping the site up to date the only reason to have reviews?

Of course not!

In fact, to keep the site alive is by far the least important one. There are more pressing ones by far, but keeping the site fresh is still one of them. And a good one for grabbing your attention, isn’t it?

OK, I digress. The main reasons you should work hard at getting reviews for your site are:

To Increase Sales

First and foremost, reviews help to get more sales. This has been proven time and time again. In fact, customer generated reviews are many times more trusted by other customers than your product description. Many visitors will even start reading about the product from the reviews and will check the description only if the reviews proved that the product is worth it.

To Establish Trust

Most retailers fear negative reviews. However, they can help out with establishing trust in your store. Just imagine a situation in which a product you sell has only 5 star reviews. Does that look natural? Of course not. No product receives only top reviews. There are bound to be people dissatisfied with it or one of its features. Therefore, having an odd negative comment helps to establish more trust, both in your comments system as well as in your company.

To Gain SEO Benefits

A user review can also offer SEO benefits to your store. Fresh and unique content naturally ranks higher in search and reviews are nothing short but fresh and unique. Furthermore, customers often describe a product in a way they see it, meaning that they can populate your page with additional keywords and terms you would never thought of yourself but your users use to search for it.

How to Get More Reviews for Your Store

Reviews are hard to get, fact. It might seem obvious that once a customer purchases a product, he or she wants to immediately post a review on your site. But, think of how often you’d do this yourself. Most of the time, once the product lands in your hand, you forget even the store you purchased it from.

Therefore, you need to entice your customers to leave a review on your site. Here are some ideas on how:

  1. Solicit them through transactional emails – A transactional email is a message you send your customers after they have purchased an item. It usually includes information about the order, payment confirmation etc. That’s a good place to include a review request also.
  2. Ask for reviews in a separate email – instead of using your confirmation email, you can also set up your ecommerce store to send your customers a separate email asking for a review after a specific type since the purchase has passed. In fact, this is the most common practice for gaining customer reviews.
  3. Offer your customers rewards for leaving reviews, it could be a coupon code or a discount or even a freebie. It is much easier to ask people to do something for you if they get something in return.
  4. Ask for reviews on the product page, especially if you offer documentation or other materials needed to use the product. Chances are that your customers will come back to the product page to download those, that’s a perfect moment to get them to tell you what they think of the product they just purchased.
  5. Make the process as simple as possible, because nothing puts people off from completing such a task as having to set up accounts or fill in a long and complex form on a page. In such case you will notice that most people that go through the process are only those that really have something to get off their chest about your product or service.
  6. Reach out directly. Sometimes emailing users directly to ask for a review works best. If you have customers that had purchased some big ticket items, don’t send them generic emails. Show them how much you appreciate their custom by reaching out directly. Depending on the product and possibly other factors like your location, you could also ring then to follow up after the purchase and solicit a review then.
  7. Ask your social media fans, especially if you are giving something in return for reviews. Your fans most likely have already purchased from you and have already started building a relationship with your brand which makes them ideal to ask for reviews.
  8. Suggest reviewing a product on your package inserts. Lastly, use whatever printed materials you include with your packaging to entice customers to leave a review for a product. You can merge it with an offer to make the whole thing even more interesting.

Your turn

Do you actively try to solicit reviews for your products or leave this entirely up the user to do so?

Pawel Grabowski

Pawel Grabowski is a copywriter helping SaaS and software companies utilize great copy to boost their growth.

Find out more about Pawel at smashingcopy.com and connect with him on Linkedin.

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