5 Ways to Earn Awesome Reviews and Referrals for Your D2C Brand 

Customer reviews and referrals are one of the most impactful elements driving customer acquisition today. In fact, product reviews rank even higher than a good price among modern consumers as a reason to buy your product or service. The three things a consumer typically looks for when checking customer reviews are recency, quantity, and a mix of good and bad reviews. 

Consumers are more inclined to purchase when the reviews are recent. 44 percent say they look to see if there have been reviews in the last month. The more reviews you have and the more frequently your products are reviewed, the better for your business.

“Shoppers who are exposed to pages with 5,000 or more reviews are 296.2 percent more likely to convert than those exposed to pages with no reviews.”  — Total Retail

Diversity among reviews is just as important as the quantity and frequency of reviews. Modern consumers look for honesty when reading reviews, and some may be scared off if there isn’t at least one negative thing to be found on a product review page. While you may think that bad reviews negatively affect your brand, they can actually be beneficial in small amounts. When product shopping, consumers often seek out negative reviews. If a potential customer searches a product review page only to discover glowing reviews, it is often perceived as disingenuous and contrived, often resulting in abandoned carts and page exits. 

With the knowledge that customer reviews are so important for success, here are five ways to earn awesome reviews and referrals for your retail or direct-to-consumer brand.

1. Make It Simple

Customers are much more likely to leave a review if it is both quick and easy to do so. Presenting the opportunity to leave a review in a timely fashion is also an important factor in a customer’s decision to share a product review. The best way to tackle both of these at once is by utilizing email.

Sending a simple email to a consumer once they have received their product that easily allows them to leave a review or rating is one of the most impactful ways brands can garner reviews to post on their product pages. Including a 1-5 scale rating in your review email allows customers who don’t want to leave a full review but like your product enough to give it a rating to make an impact on your product review pages.

Amazon Customer Reviews Example

If you want to garner more insights, you can create ratings for each aspect of your product that outline value, ease of useand design quality. An example of this kind of rating system can often be seen on Amazon. In the image to the right are reviews for a Dyson Vacuum for sale on Amazon. As you can see, they offer an easy way to rate the product out of 5 stars and include ratings by feature. 

2. Having Honest Reviews

While you might think that bad reviews scare off potential customers, it actually does the opposite, as long as you don’t have too many of them. Including some negative reviews ensures that your product reviews are genuine and your brand isn’t censoring or paying for reviews. Creating visibility of customers’ opinions of your products helps consumers feel connected to your brand and improves conversion rates by up to 67 percent.

All reviews, whether negative or positive, are beneficial to consumers and your brand as they give both parties an unfiltered look at customer feedback on products. Additionally, reviews help reduce return rates and negative reviews in the future by giving potential customers insight on a particular product or service. This allows them to make a better and more informed purchasing decision based on their wants and needs.

3. Use Third-Party Review Providers

Third-party reviews are reviews that do not come directly from your website. They are typically from places like social media or sites dedicated to reviews like Yelp or Trip Advisor. These reviews are often considered more honest and held in a higher regard among consumers because they seem more organic and credible

“In fact, 75 percent of consumers don’t view advertisements as truthful, while an incredible 90 percent will believe a brand recommendation that comes from a trusted friend. This level of trust even extends to total strangers — particularly in the form of online reviews.” Hubspot 

There are several ways to get third-party reviews. Having a “Google My Business” page is a great way to not only get these reviews, but to also highlight them. When a consumer Googles your business or something relating to it, you will pop up on the top of the search page. 

Google My Business Page Example

Having a Facebook page for your business is another great way to get third-party reviews that are trusted by consumers. Lastly, having user-generated content on trendy social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram is a modern day success for businesses. According to EnTribe, 77 percent of consumers would be more likely to purchase a brands product or service if that brand shared content from real customers in their marketing. Utilizing videos like the one below of a customer unboxing a new MacBook Air is a great example of how to use third-party reviews. This video alone received 1.2 million likes on TikTok. 

Play Video about MacBook Air Unboxing Tiktok

4. Offer Incentives for Reviews or Referrals

Reviews are incredibly important to consumers, and referrals are a great way to add on to that. Referrals often come from friends or family, so they already have an element of established trust. Adding an incentive to the mix is even more of amotivator for new customers to try your product or service. Popular incentives often include a reward for both the person referring and the person receiving the referral. Some common types of referral incentives include:

  • A specific dollar amount towards a future purchase
  • A percentage off of your first order for a new customer 
  • Rewards for the referring customer when their referral makes a purchase 

Here is an example of a referral reward that Task Rabbit offers:

Reviews and Referrals Reward Example

Just like loyalty programs, many brands are hopping on the referral rewards train as an effortless way to acquire new customers and consumer data. Companies like Lyft, GrubHub, and Instacart rely heavily on incentive-based referrals. 

5. Leverage Positive Reviews

With all of these ways to earn reviews, it’s important to utilize them effectively in order to maximize the benefits they can have for your business. First and foremost, it is important to think about user experience when developing your review sections. Make sure your reviews are easily accessible, simple to navigate, and laid out in a user-friendly format.

Having a Google My Business page puts reviews front and center when a consumer searches your business. It shows how many stars you have on a scale of one to five and shows a customer right away how satisfied customers are with your business. 

Another beneficial tool to increase visibility of your reviews is to utilize SEO. According to stats from Distilled (via econsultancy), providing rich review snippets on search engine results pages can mean a 10 to 20 percent increase in click-through rates. 

Here is an example of leveraging reviews on a search engine results page. By typing in “Refrigerator” on Google, fridges with top-rated reviews pop up first. A consumer is most likely to search for a product that has ample positive reviews before looking at products with little or no reviews.

Google Reviews Example

Why Product Reviews Are So Important

Modern consumers trust the word of their peers more than they trust the claims of a brand. They seek honesty when searching product reviews so that they can better inform their purchasing decisions, so it’s important to keep this in mind when creating or optimizing your product review strategy. Creating simple and timely ways for customers to review or rate your products while providing incentives is the best way to increase your customer acquisition and bolster your customer lifetime value. By utilizing all of these tips, you will be able to attract new customers easily and all in all have a more successful business. 

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