In 2020, it’s estimated that companies spent almost $400 billion on digital advertising. However, nearly seven in ten customers say they purposefully avoid advertising.
Thankfully, there is a way to convince people that your products are worth purchasing without resorting to advertisements. By encouraging your existing customers to post reviews, you can secure more sales and perhaps even justify a price increase.
In this post, we’ll discuss why reviews are essential for any online business. We’ll then share four tips for attracting a steady stream of five-star reviews. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Product Reviews (And How They Can Boost Your Sales)
Today’s savvy consumer is unlikely to believe the positive things a company has to say about its own products. This is where reviews come in:
Feedback left by satisfied customers can help convince even the most skeptical shopper that your products are worth purchasing. In fact, 90 percent of consumers confirmed that User-Generated Content (UGC), such as product reviews, is more influential than email marketing and even search engine results.
Giving customers the freedom to critique their experiences can be daunting. There’s always the fear that one unhappy shopper may seize the opportunity to leave negative feedback. However, the potential rewards are undeniable: people are 270 percent more likely to purchase a product with reviews than an item without any.
You can even use positive feedback to justify why your prices are higher than your competitors. According to cloud specialist Podium, 68 percent of customers are happy to pay up to 15 percent more for the same product if they believe they’ll have a better experience.
There’s also evidence to suggest that the occasional negative review is unlikely to damage your bottom line. In fact, over half of consumers are more likely to purchase a product with lots of reviews and an average rating than a product with a small number of reviews and an excellent rating. This suggests that it’s well worth risking the occasional negative review in return for the potentially increased sales.
How to Get More Product Reviews and Boost Your Sales (4 Tips)
No one wants to waste their money on poor-quality products, including your customers. Reviews can be a powerful tool for convincing people that your offerings are worth the price tag. With that in mind, here are four ways to get the positive feedback you need to drive sales.
1. Use a Review Plugin
If you’re going to amass a collection of five-star reviews, customers need a way to actually submit those reviews. Thankfully, some of the most popular eCommerce platforms have built-in support for consumer feedback.
If you’re one of the millions of people who use the WooCommerce plugin, you can activate reviews by navigating to WooCommerce > Settings > Products from your WordPress dashboard. Then, select Enable product reviews:
Alternatively, you can add review functionality to your site using a plugin such as WP Product Review. After installing and activating this tool, navigate to Product Review > Product Review.
In the General Settings tab, open the Show review comment drop-down menu and select Yes:
You can now display the review submission form on any page using a shortcode. Simply navigate to the page where you want to start accepting customer reviews and create a new shortcode block:
Then, add the following shortcode:
[wppr_submit_review] Now, visitors will be able to review your products and services at any time of the day or night.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Reviews
According to marketing specialists, 76 percent of customers are happy to leave a review – all you need to do is ask. However, if you’re going to secure those all-important five-star reviews, timing is everything.
Wherever possible, you should ask the customer for a review when they act in a way that suggests they’re happy with their experience. If you have one-to-one contact with a client, you might wait until they make a positive comment about their purchase or your company in general.
However, for busy online store owners, it may be impossible to monitor individual customers. If you have little direct contact with your audience, you could always build review requests into your email automation rules.
To start, you’ll want to define criteria that suggest the customer is happy with their experience. This might be repurchasing an item or making multiple purchases within a short period of time. Whenever a shopper performs these actions, your mailing software can automatically contact them and request a review.
3. Provide an Incentive
Your customers’ time is precious, so when you ask for a review, their initial reaction is likely: What’s in it for me? This response is something that business owners are acutely aware of.
In fact, if you check your inbox, chances are you’ll find emails from countless companies offering you everything from discount codes to loyalty points to entry into a prize draw in return for reviewing a recent purchase:
This is a tried-and-tested strategy. By offering customers an incentive for leaving you a review, you can increase feedback significantly.
If you choose your reward carefully, you can even simultaneously encourage customers to leave a review and make another purchase. For example, by offering a 25 percent coupon code, you might secure yourself positive feedback and a sale.
However, this isn’t about bribing customers for glowing feedback. The key is to provide an incentive for leaving a review, which doesn’t necessarily have to be positive.
If you do receive a scathing review, you can often turn this potential PR disaster into a big win. By responding to the negative feedback in a polite, helpful manner, you can present yourself as a business that will always strive to rectify a poor customer experience. For visitors who may be debating making their first purchases, this shows that you’re a company that always goes the extra mile for your customers – even when they’re complaining.
4. Register With All the Major Consumer Review Sites
When award-winning consultancy Canvas8 asked US and UK customers who they trust to provide honest information, third-party consumer review sites ranked highly. In fact, sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp came second only to personal recommendations from friends and family.
If you haven’t already, we highly recommend registering your business with all of the major consumer review platforms, including Facebook and Google My Business:
Since consumer review websites carry so much authority, it’s smart to highlight all the sites where your company is registered. Trip Advisor provides a selection of widgets that you can use to embed reviews, ratings, and visitor photos directly on your website. This can be a great way to promote your positive Trip Advisor feedback, while also encouraging people to visit this third-party page:
If you’ve amassed lots of reviews on your Google My Business page, you can interact with this feedback using the Google My Business Application Programming Interface (API). Alternatively, you can embed your Google reviews in your site’s sidebar using a plugin such as Widget for Google Reviews:
Similarly, if you’ve registered your business with Facebook, you can embed this content using the Social Reviews & Recommendations plugin. To ensure seamless integration, this tool has full support for shortcodes and all of the major page builders, including Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi.
In addition to featuring this third-party content on your site, it’s important to monitor these platforms carefully. Some consumer sites highlight businesses that are responsive. By interacting with your audience, you can increase your visibility and secure even more reviews and engagement.
As an online store owner, there are many ways to make your products more attractive to potential customers. However, if you really want to drive conversions, you can let your customers do the talking for you.
Let’s quickly recap four tips for how to boost your sales by encouraging customers to leave positive reviews:
- Use a review plugin, such as WP Product Review.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews.
- Provide an incentive.
- Register with all the major consumer review sites.
Do you have any questions about how to boost your sales? Let us know in the comments section below!