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.
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.
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.
3. Use Third-Party Review Providers
4. Offer Incentives for Reviews or Referrals
- A specific dollar amount towards a future purchase
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.
Why Product Reviews Are So Important