After an extremely busy year for e-commerce, these quieter Summer months before the Christmas rush, can be a good time to address those business improvements that may have been on your to-do list for some time. This is the first in a series of blogs aimed at helping online sellers improve their business’ performance. We hope they will be helpful to you.
The first topic we are looking at is Reviews – specifically, why you should have Reviews on your site, how to add them and how to manage them.
Why Should You Include Reviews on Your E-Commerce Site?
Reviews are a powerful tool in converting browsing website visitors into customers. According to a survey in 2020, 91% of people read reviews and 84% trust online reviews as much as they would trust a friend. The facts are simple – customers trust reviews. According to Inc.com, simply reading between 1 and 6 reviews can persuade someone to buy.
For some types of business, such as hospitality, fashion and healthcare, reviews are even more important.
How Do You Add Reviews to an E-Commerce Site?
There are many ways to add reviews to your site. Which options are available will depend on the platform you are using. Shopify sites have the option of a free Product Reviews App. The App is easy to add and customise, SEO friendly and simple to manage. Other recommended options for product-level reviews include Yotpo, and Okendo .
To make your choice, investigate the pricing, how the App works with your theme, and if you like the look of the management interface. Some Apps bring in additional User Generated Content, such as photos of the customer wearing your product and most have reminder options using email or SMS. Many also work with Google, to bring your reviews and star ratings into your Google listings.
If you are looking for reviews of your business, rather than for specific products, you might decide to use platforms such as TrustPilot, Feefo or Yelp. These have the benefit of being visible both on your site and on the review platforms own listings.
At Forms Plus, we recently started using Trust Pilot. Our MD, Victoria Andrews told us:
“Trust Pilot reviews have given us useful insights into what our customers actually think of our products and service. We have been extremely pleased with the consistent 5-star reviews we have received, confirming we are good at what we do. It is also always helpful to hear where there is room for improvement or changes that would help our customers.”
For overall reviews of your business, you should also definitely be gathering reviews on Google My Business. This will help your profile within Google Search and is often the first review someone will see of your business.
Which Elements of Reviews Matter to Customers?
Research shows that the parts of a review that customers pay the most attention to are:
- Star Rating – A one-star increase on Yelp consistently leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue
- Recency – when was the review written?
- Legitimacy – was this a real purchase?
- Sentiment – is the review overall positive, negative or neutral?
- Quantity – how many reviews do you have? Customers may read up to 10 reviews before deciding, most read at least 4.
How Do I Get More Reviews?
This one is simple… Ask! According to Bright Local, 73% of consumers who were asked to write a review for a business wrote one. Make it as easy as possible by sending a direct link to the review platform. If you have a reviews app, set it to automatically ask for a review a few days after delivery (or when you think most appropriate).
You can ask for reviews by email, by SMS, in person at the point of sale, on your despatch note or receipt, via Social Media, via handwritten notes in your delivery package or over the phone.
Do be careful however if you decide to offer an incentive for writing a review. Rewarding customers for writing reviews goes against many review sites’ guidelines and could soon even become illegal in the UK.
What Do I Need to do to Manage Reviews?
The main thing is to keep an eye on your reviews and respond quickly. You may choose to thank people for positive reviews and use them to highlight your strengths. For negative reviews, you will almost always need to reply and to do so promptly.
If a bad review is the result of a known fault or mistake, apologise and put things right. If you need to, take the discussion to a private platform, but always reply publicly as well, so other readers can see you have responded. See a negative review as an opportunity to put things right and turn the negative into a positive. Most importantly, be human and try to avoid sounding like a corporation. You might choose to include your first name in your response, to help the reviewer feel they are talking to a real person who takes their issue seriously.
If the review is unfair, profane, a personal attack, fake or just a troll, don’t be afraid to report it and remove it (if you can). You don’t need to waste your time trying to fix reviews like that.
In summary, reputation management through nurturing reviews should be a major part of your marketing strategy. Asking for, monitoring, and responding to reviews can be time consuming but can also have a major impact, reduce advertising costs and help you build a loyal customer base.
If you would like to leave a review for us on TrustPilot, we’d be very grateful. You can do so on the TrustPilot Site.