How to get more positive customer reviews for your store
You already know that product reviews are important. They build trust both between you and your customers and in your products, they improve SEO, increase conversions, and more. But the bigger question remains: how do you get customers to leave them?
Motivating customers to review products is a challenge for pretty much any ecommerce merchant. It's even harder (cruelly) when you're starting from zero. But when you consider the impact of reviews on building trust and driving sales, it's worth the effort.
Econsultancy writes that “the first step of getting a product or service reviewed is to realize that people don’t actually want to review it.” Unless you’re an established brand whose reputation is built on reviews (like Amazon, for example), most customers don't want to spend their valuable time on your site composing a review. The reality is, you need to give people a reason to write about you.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to start encouraging more positive customer reviews.
Asking for stuff can be hard, especially when you're not offering any material reward in return. But when it comes to reviews, there’s nothing wrong with asking straight up.
According to a survey by Bazaarvoice, 90% of participants said they write reviews to help others make better buying decisions, while 70% said they want to help companies improve the products they build and carry. By being straightforward and honest in your request for a review, many people will be more than happy to help spread the word.
When writing your request, it’s important to pay attention to the language you use. Ditch the sales speak and put the emphasis on the buyer rather than the seller. Instead of asking “Would you like to leave us a review?”—wishy-washy phrasing that gives the user an easy out—opt for something empowering and user-focused. For example, try: “Let the world know what you think of your brand new [insert product here].” You might even want to add the angle of helping a small business grow in your pitch.
Shopify also notes that timing is crucial. The best time to reach out to customers is after they’ve had the product for a week or two. “This will give them enough time to learn about the product, and also to experience it enough to write a review.” Just don’t delay too long—in this age of shrinking attention spans, you want to ask while impressions are still fresh!
Offer an incentive
No matter how altruistic your customers are, people are more likely to give when they know they’re getting something in return. Even small incentives—like 5% off their next order or a sneak preview of an upcoming collection—can be enough to inspire a review. Incentives can also serve to encourage repeat business and increase customer lifetime value.
As effective as this method can be, Neil Patel warns that incentives can be a moral grey area for new merchants eager for positive reviews. “Even if you don’t intend your incentive to be a bribe, most people feel compelled to provide good reviews if they’re being compensated for it.” Be sure to clarify that you seek honest, unbiased reviews, and if you do offer incentives, it’s a good policy to ask your reviewers to disclose that fact in their write-up.
Leverage social networks
Your store isn’t the only place potential customers go to look for information about your products. If you receive positive feedback about a product on Twitter, Instagram, or any other social platform, consider cross-posting it to your store to maximize its reach (try setting up some notifications in Google Alerts so you know when and where you’re being talked about). The same thing works in reverse: you can post your in-store reviews on social media to build your brand and encourage customer engagement.
In fact, according to review app Yotpo, social media is huge when it comes to user-generated content. They recommend posting a photo of a product to Facebook with a few questions to stimulate conversation: “The casual platform combined with the direct questions will encourage responses from people who may not otherwise reach out.”
Invite users on networks like Pinterest and Instagram to share their experiences visually. For customers who are crunched for time, uploading an image or video might seem easier than composing a written review—and it can be a lot more impactful.
Use an app
There's no shame in using an app to gather and organize your customer reviews! We recommend Junip. This Shopify app can be set up to send automatic follow-up campaigns, help improve your performance on Google Shopping, and even display reviews in your online store beautifully. Check out Junip now and see how it can streamline your review collecting.
Find more helpful articles in The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Store.