How and Why to Encourage, Reward, and Showcase User Reviews

By Team AmeriCommerce Monday, January 12, 2015

Do you want to drive sales, build a solid reputation and convince people of your expertise? Then you need to start featuring customer reviews on your website. According to PeopleClaim, 70% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, so they really can have an affect on whether people buy from you or not.

Increasing conversions and building confidence are clear benefits of customer reviews, but what many don't realize is that it can actually help improve SEO too. Yep that's right, if you regularly publish reviews you are adding brand new content to your site, and search engines love regular unique content.

Plus, if you ensure that the content is correctly optimized then this can help to increase click through rates as it helps to make your product pages stand out in search results!

How to encourage customers to leave reviews...

Encouraging people to leave reviews should be the first step in your strategy. What you need to do is give them a reason to write about you. Sounds easy, right? Providing exceptional customer service is a great start in encouraging reviews. People are really impressed when a company goes above and beyond, so try to keep that in mind at all times.

Ahead of that, what else can you do? Well you should really be thinking about the customer journey to help target them at the right time. Sending a friendly follow up email to see if they like your product is a great way to encourage people to leave a review. Include a link to the product page to make it easy for the customer to find the right page. And be timely with your email – give the customer the chance to experience your product to see if they are happy with it, but don't leave it so long that they forget about you.

Use an Ecommerce platform that makes it easy for you to introduce reviews on your site. For example, our store builder lets you integrate your store with Yotpo, a review generator platform that offers a ton of cool features to add reviews to your store, send out email templates and view analytics.

As a start-up you may find it a little harder than most to get reviews up and running, so in this instance your customers may need a little incentive to do so. When you ask them to leave a review, offer them a discount to shop with you again. That way, you'll gain a great review - and another sale!

What about bad reviews?

As cynical as it may sound, people are more likely to complain if something is bad, than write a positive review if something is good. But you shouldn’t be too concerned with that. We understand that you want to make it seem like every customer is happy with your product and service, but a bad review isn't as bad as you may think...

Firstly, customers who check out your site and see 100% positive reviews may be slightly skeptical and see you as an untrustworthy site. It may sound contradictory but a bad review can actually help build trust in potential customers.

The next benefit (yes benefit!) of a negative review is that it can help you show how awesome your customer service is. Responding to each review, whether good or bad, is a great idea as it shows potential customers how you value your customers. The good news is that 95% of unhappy customers will return to your store if an issue is resolved quickly. So long as you are tackling negative reviews head on and offering a solution, you don't need to freak out if you receive a bad review,

And finally, one of the most important points to remember is that you can learn a lot from a bad review. It can help you make improvements to your service or your products, and help to grow your store for the better.

How to make the most out of each review...

So once you start building up your reviews you need to consider where you want to place them on your site. A review can really help potential customers discover product details that you may have not have thought to include, in order to make their purchase decision. It may take a little more effort but it's best to feature product reviews next to the right products. Check out this product page grabbed from Circulon below as a great example: 

Adding reviews to your homepage is also an awesome selling tool. Don't litter it, but pick out some of the best reviews that talk about how great your service is, and showcase it on your homepage so people can see it right off the bat. Check out this image below from our homepage as a good example. We've picked out keywords, a small sentence and the company name: 

Direct happy customers to outside review sources...

In addition to your own website, think about taking advantage of outside review sites so that you can build a solid reputation as a business, as well as promoting the products you sell. Encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms such as Google Reviews or Yelp, as these are the sites that potential customers may look at to see what your reputation is like on a neutral platform.

Takeaway

Customer reviews really are one of the biggest selling tools you can have. Your customers will look for reviews on your site in order to build trust and to help influence their buying decision. Just be sure to feature them in the right place so you can encourage people to buy your stuff! And as we mentioned above, we do offer awesome features to help you easily set up reviews on your own store, so build your online store with us today! 

About the Author

Team AmeriCommerce

AmeriCommerce is an ecommerce software platform serving over 5,000 merchants since 2005. Whether you need one online store or multiple stores, AmeriCommerce has the tools to help you Sell Stuff! By staying passionate about selling stuff online and fostering a loving and deep partnership with our customers, AmeriCommerce is the ecommerce software that simply cares more. Learn more about AmeriCommerce at www.AmeriCommerce.com

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Comments
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Keri
January 24, 2015 12:24 PM
"As cynical as it may sound, people are more likely to complain if something is bad, than write a positive review if something is good." Ugh. So true. I'm still split on the value of reviews and it amazes me when people take reviews seriously. On a lot of sites, I find that some reviews seem like rather obvious propaganda or, in some cases, obvious negativity from competitors.
Josh R.
January 24, 2015 2:07 PM
We have to deal with some negative reviews and the key for us is our response. Often a negative review is the result of a simple misunderstanding that is easy to solve. In many cases we have had people respond to our responses and have turned bad reviews into shining examples that simply magnify and reinforce all of the positive reviews we get. We see things like "great customer service" all the time and by responding to a negative we show that "great customer service" in action.
AnnAbbitz
January 25, 2015 7:35 PM
As someone who earns a full time income online, I can attest to the fact that the importance of customer reviews is absolute. As time goes on, and more of our everyday shopping is done online, customers will rely more and more on what others are saying about something before they spend their own money on it... Whatever it is. Keeping that in mind, for some time now I have utilized follow-up emails & offered discount codes to returning customers who have left positive feedback in the past. This simple gesture has helped me to maintain a high level of positive feedback & garner repeat business.
Chris A.
January 25, 2015 10:03 PM
If a negative review is left with no response from the website owner then that honestly has deterred me from making purchases in the past, but I do find that I still put my trust in sites that have great customer service that promise to fix whatever the buyer's complaint happens to be. So I can definitely see how a negative review would give the business owner a chance to showcase how active they are in making sure their customers are happy. Should I ever get faced with a negative review, I'll do everything in my power to turn it into a positive situation. Even if the reviews aren't shown publicly, leaving an unhappy customer without a positive resolution would be a terrible business practice.
Alex London
January 26, 2015 5:52 PM
I removed the review section from my website as I really struggled to actually get people to post reviews so I felt like it looked like I wasn't making many sales, but I'll give it another go!

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