According to a study done by BrightLocal, 92% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Peer reviews have significant impact and influence on purchasing behavior to a point that 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from friends and family!
Online recommendations and peer reviews seem to have a real impact on user experience, conversion and sales. Another study done by Reevoo shows that reviews in a brand’s product page can increase sales by 18%.
One should not forget the advantages of SEO too, which are rather considerable. Search engines are fond of fresh and unique content, including user reviews. Many e-commerce sites use the basic descriptions provided by the manufacturer to present their products. However, content that is created specifically for the user is more valuable and will boost your product page’s visibility in search engines.
Gathering opinions requires some effort from brands. Organically, it can easily be done, but if you are looking for targeted success, you must speak directly to your customers. So what can you do to generate positive and authentic online reviews? Here are some ideas to help you out.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with requests from brands they are associated with. Before asking your consumers for favors, make sure you offer something that has a high perceived value. Do not hesitate to offer an incentive to those who leave comments and reviews on your products. For example, whether they use it or not, you can offer them a coupon with a discount on their next purchase. You lose nothing if they do not use the coupon, but gain a lot if they do. You end up making a sale on top of getting the customer’s opinion on your product!
Social media forever changed the relationship between consumer and brand, and users are now very vocal when it comes to sharing their experiences with products; both positive and negative ones. With the help of sentiment analysis tools, you can now easily find those who express positive feelings toward your products and ask them to write reviews by redirecting them to the fill-out form on your site. By doing so, you show consumers that you are a brand that listens to them, and people will then be more inclined to share positive reviews on your site.
At the right moment, it is vital to seek advice from customers on your products. Once a customer makes a purchase, receives the product and tests it, their level of euphoria is naturally heightened. Therefore, it would be a good time to contact them then via email and ask how their experience was. With the product still fresh in their mind, it is very likely they will provide an assessment of your product right away. Do not hesitate to appeal to their compassionate side too by asking something to this effect: “Share with the world your experience on this product….”. With a hard-to-deny incentive and a clear, accessible and easy form to fill out, you will most definitely find success in this tactic.
Having online reviews on a product page increases the consumer’s confidence in purchasing. Therefore, you should make sure these reviews are highlighted and easy to find on your product page. A page filled with peer reviews only encourages consumers to share their own experiences as well. Also, leaving a rating or review should be an easy task for the consumer. You do not want to make it a complex process and end discouraging someone who was motivated and had the intention to leave a review. Make sure the process of leaving a review on your site is simple and effective. Never force the customer to register and create an account, or log in just to leave a review, it will discourage them. Leaving a comment should as simple as writing a text in a box and pressing the “Submit” button.
All the above mentioned tactics work well for online businesses, however a large portion of consumer transactions are done in a physical store. Luckily, you still have the opportunity to gather online reviews, behind the cash register. Simply ask your vendors and client service reps to direct customers to the product review page and encourage them to leave a comment. Prominently place the link somewhere on the cash register, on receipts and contracts. Don’t forget to always offer attractive incentives, the investment will be worth it!
In conclusion, product reviews are critical to boost your marketing performance in many ways. This includes your SEO performance and your customer experience. By approaching customers proactively at the right time, via email, social media, your website, or even in-store and by offering attractive incentives, all your efforts will pay off.