It can be hard to get your customers to write reviews for your products, and even harder to encourage high-quality, verified, and insightful reviews. However, although they may be difficult to procure, reviews are essential for your online store. Now more than ever, using the right review solution is crucial to your ecommerce brand’s success in our online world!
Everything matters when it comes to your review solution. You need seamless usability, modernity, functional features, and actionable insights. Read on to learn about your options to select the perfect review solution and to determine if your current review solution is right for your ecommerce brand.
Why Reviews are Essential for Your Online Store
When your customers prepare to make an online purchase, the first thing many of them do is read some of that product’s reviews. Online customers rely on reviews; they build trust and give your customers easy access to the information they need to confidently make online purchases. In fact, 91% of online shoppers read reviews, and 84% trust them as much as they would trust a personal recommendation.
In today’s primarily online shopping environment, the very nature of making a purchase is changing. When they’re shopping via ecommerce, customers can’t physically touch and experience a product before making their purchase, so they turn to online reviews not only to gain insight into the quality and true nature of your products but also to assess whether they can trust your entire brand. We break down the primary ways in which reviews are essential to your ecommerce brand into a few key actions.
Shoppers trust business reviews like they would word-of-mouth, and just like a friendly recommendation on the street, you can’t necessarily trust a single opinion. Ecommerce customers want to see a decent amount of reviews to gain a consensus on quality and reliability, so you want to encourage high-quality reviews and a high quantity of reviews.
Boost Your SEO Efforts
As an ecommerce brand, you work hard to build an SEO-friendly web presence. It’s demanding and time-consuming. The good news? Collecting high-quality reviews can help you to achieve this goal. When reviewing your products, customers will often naturally utilize keywords, which can help boost your keyword optimization! In turn, more customers can easily find your website, and your conversions will rise as a result.
Drive Sales Now and Later
No matter your industry or target demographic, nearly everyone considering purchasing from your ecommerce brand is reading reviews beforehand. Reviews have the direct ability to drive sales for your brand. They perform some of the same functions as a salesperson, selling your product and building confidence in a purchase.
Once you’ve acquired a selection of high-quality reviews, they’re not done working in your favor! You can leverage your positive reviews for marketing purposes, which we’ll discuss in greater depth below. You can even leverage negative reviews to your benefit. Unfavorable reviews will help you identify your customers’ pain points, including aspects of your products that may need to be improved, and solve them more efficiently.
Setting the Stage for High-Quality Reviews
High-quality reviews are the backbone of customers’ trust and confidence in your ecommerce brand and their purchase decisions, and a good quantity of reviews will drive your sales even further. Your perfect review solution should effectively achieve both of these goals.
There are quite a few ways to encourage your ecommerce customers to leave reviews. Some brands offer discounts in exchange for feedback. There is no harm in offering value in exchange for a review because reviews are so valuable to your brand. Use the short window after customers have recently purchased products to first ask for a review. Later, ask for reviews on an ongoing basis to allow for multiple opportunities to give feedback.
Additionally, tailoring your approach to engage your customers will increase the likelihood of procuring a review. Integrate sales and CRM data to verify customers’ contact information and preferences, noting if they are part of a rewards program or similar group and tailoring your requests accordingly.
Encouraging Quality Reviews
Now that you’ve learned how to influence your ecommerce customers to leave reviews, you need to know how to get them to leave higher-quality ones. While the quantity of reviews is important, quality is more impactful and should always take priority. A great reviews solution should offer all of the quality review features you need.
High-quality reviews come from verified customers, are honest and descriptive, and may include pictures and videos. Reviews with all of these attributes will be the most impactful to your potential customers and your brand itself! A great reviews solution will encourage customers to leave quality reviews by seamlessly walking them through the process. The format of your review form is essential to do this. For instance, you can set it up to prompt your customers to write descriptively and add a photo when necessary. Reviews should also be moderated to ensure that they meet quality standards and come from real customers.
An array of high-quality reviews will boost your brand’s positive reputation and drive sales, and every ecommerce company knows that reputation is of the utmost importance. For additional help with fostering your brand’s positive reputation and success, check out Coalition Technologies’ trusted reputation management services.
Ensuring a Seamless Customer Experience
Your customers should always have a seamless experience on your ecommerce website, and that includes the process of both leaving and reading reviews. Reviews provide impartial opinions from previous shoppers that help prospective customers decide to purchase your product. Customers can be especially influenced by reviews if they’re savvy enough to mistrust polished brand messages, as many are in today’s ecommerce world. 93% of new customers actively seek out reviews before they buy, so the last thing an ecommerce brand wants is for customers to abandon their attempts to write reviews or read them.
It should always be extremely easy and accessible for customers to review your products. If the process is difficult or hidden, your chances of gathering reviews will diminish. Customer reviews should seamlessly integrate into your website’s appearance and user experience, making it easy and appealing to browse through and create one. A great review solution will allow your customers to locate, browse, and post reviews easily so that both you and your customers can capitalize on their incredible value.
Reviews should integrate seamlessly with your martech stack, and for ecommerce brands, these can be complex. It’s of the utmost importance that your technologies work together to avoid leaks in your sales funnel or analytics systems. A great review solution will integrate seamlessly with your ecommerce platform, Google, CRM, and any other third-party apps.
We know that customer experience is one of the key brand differentiators for customers, so a poorly integrated, poorly designed, or difficult-to-use review solution can have negative impacts on your business. A difficult review experience will destroy the trust that you’ve worked so hard to build, while a seamless experience will build it up even more.
Modern Review Functionality for Your Modern Brand
Product reviews drive sales and boost your SEO efforts, so if you aren’t using a great review solution on your ecommerce website, your revenue could be suffering. But, it’s not always easy to choose the review solution that will deliver the best value for your brand. So what should you look for in a great review solution? And what modern features should be included?
Consumer Curated Content
Your modern review solution should offer UGC (user-generated content) in the form of photos and videos, which can then be used across your social media platforms. By encouraging image and video reviews, you can drive sales even further! Shoppers who see UGC on a brand’s site convert at a rate 161% higher than those who don’t.
Modern review solutions should offer an array of functional features that make the reviewing process easy and seamless for your customers. Great review solutions that offer image and video reviews will help you to curate social content from your customer and turn that customer feedback into actionable product insights.
Schema Markup, Integrations, and APIs
As an ecommerce site, you want your reviews and star ratings to be exposed to and listed on Google for easy viewing from the search engine. Your review solution should use a specific product schema markup that will be automatically picked up by Google bots.
Additional integrations available within review solutions will allow you to connect with and pull data from various platforms, including social media, sales and CRM platforms, and even other review sites you’ve previously used.
Questions and Answers & Mobile Viewing
Product question and answer sections are becoming increasingly popular in the reviews space for mid-size to larger ecommerce brands. Q&A sections make your customers feel heard and supported and can allow both the site’s owners and customers to answer questions in a timely manner. AI-powered features are incredible tools that some modern review solutions utilize to intelligently filter reviews, offer your customers relevant Q&As, and collect a higher quantity of high-quality reviews.
Last but not least, your modern review solutions should be optimized for mobile viewing. Today, a huge percentage of online shoppers are browsing and making purchases directly from their mobile devices, and your website itself, as well as your review solution, should be seamlessly optimized for mobile use. Mobile optimization is an extremely important component of modern marketing, and working with a trusted mobile design and development provider along with your review solution can drive your ecommerce sales exponentially.
Leveraging Your Reviews for Marketing Insights
So you’ve collected an array of high-quality reviews utilizing a great review solution, and they’re already helping you to organically drive sales. Your ecommerce reviews aren’t finished working for you! It’s time to start leveraging these reviews for your brand’s marketing insights.
Your reviews offer you the opportunity to collect actionable insights that can be used for effective marketing. 79% of shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so this trust should be leveraged off of your website as well. On your own website, your reviews can be integrated into your brand’s content marketing strategies, including blogs, infographics, and landing pages. Showing off your reviews on other platforms and highlighting positive ones on your brand’s social media can have an incredible impact on your brand trust and sales! Utilizing reviews to support your ecommerce brand’s digital marketing success is an incredible strategy to gain the greatest possible value from your review solution.
Your stellar reviews can also be used to identify important keywords to boost your SEO goals, all while collecting important metrics like engagement rates, sentiment analysis, and customer behavior. Using this insightful information, you can measure in real-time how UGC is impacting your brand’s bottom line.
Reviews are extremely powerful tools that every ecommerce brand should be leveraging to their advantage. By seamlessly collecting high-quality reviews with the use of modern features, you’ll foster trust, boost your SEO goals, and drive sales. Equipped with all of this knowledge surrounding what to look for in a great review solution, we hope you’re feeling more confident in selecting the most valuable solution for your ecommerce brand. If you’re looking to partner with a top-rated web design and SEO services company, Coalition Technologies can help with your ecommerce brand’s success. Talk with our Digital Strategists today to start growing your business.