Potential customers trust existing customers… Gather online reviews.
Online reviews help to strengthen your prospective customers’ confidence in your products or services and minimise the perceived risk of buying from you.
In fact, customers are likely to spend 31% more with a business that has excellent reviews, according to research carried out by conversion optimisation agency, Invesp.1 It also found that 92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
Even one review on a product page can boost traffic by an average of 108% and the conversion rate by an average of 65%, according to PowerReviews.2
That’s because user-generated content—such as ratings and reviews, photos and videos—gives prospective buyers the boost of confidence they need to complete a transaction. This is especially the case for local businesses. A 2017 study by BrightLocal found that 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.3
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews on your website. Send automated follow-up emails to your customers after they’ve purchased to ask them to review their purchases. Studies show that most reviews originate from post-purchase emails.4
Ask your customers to include a photo or video with their review. That’s because 72% of shoppers say they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews featuring photos and videos as well as text.
To encourage more people to respond, offer them an incentive. PowerReviews research found that 55% of consumers who aren’t writing reviews cited needing the motivation to do so. Offer an incentive such as:
- Sweepstakes. This has been shown to boost responses by up to 83%.
- Loyalty Points
- Free Shipping
If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, ask your in-store shoppers to review your products. Include a call to action (CTA) on your shopping receipts that asks shoppers to write reviews for the products they’ve bought. List your business with online review sites such as Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yahoo Local Listing, Yelp, CheckA-Trade, or Foursquare.
Negative reviews are good
Don’t worry if some customers give your products or services negative reviews. Recent data analysis has shown that having a few negative reviews among your five-star reviews can help to boost sales.5 That’s because people are less likely to believe the authenticity of your reviews if they are all 5-stars.
Purchases peak when the average star rating of a product is between 4.2 and 4.5 stars and begins to drop away as the star-rating gets closer to a perfect 5, according to the research conducted by the US Northwestern University and PowerReviews. Previous research by Power Reviews shows that 82% of online shoppers will actively seek out negative reviews.6
Having a mixture of positive and negative reviews shows your brand’s transparency and helps to show that the reviews on your website aren’t fake. That, in turn, will make prospective customers more likely to trust your website.
Do respond quickly and respectfully to negative reviews. Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses, according to BrightLocal. Ask the reviewer to contact you directly so you can take the conversation off the public stage. This will show to your reviewer and other prospective customers that you care about their feedback and about providing the best product and service possible.
- ‘The Importance Of Online Customer Reviews [Infographic]’, Saleh, Khalid, Invesp, www.invespcro.com
- The Ultimate Guide to Generating More Product Reviews’, PowerReviews, www.powerreviews.com
- Local Consumer Review Survey 2017, BrightLocal, www.brightlocal.com
- ‘From Reviews to Revenue Volume 1: How Star Ratings and Review Content Influence Purchase’, Northwestern University Spiegel Digital and Database Research Center, www.powerreviews.com
- From Reviews to Revenue Volume 1: How Star Ratings and Review Content Influence Purchase’, Northwestern University Spiegel Digital and Database Research Center, www.powerreviews.com
- ‘The Proven Power of Reviews’, PowerReviews, www.provenreviews.com, 2014