Why Authentic Customer Reviews Matter

Reviews are one of the most commonly overlooked elements of an eCommerce store. Most brands more often than not lack this critical feature. One of our partners, Yotpo did a survey on online shoppers and found that 98% of them use reviews as a means of decision making.  

Let’s stop and think about this statistic for a moment. If almost every single visitor that shops your eCommerce store is using customer reviews to decide if your product is worth purchasing, then why do so many brands overlook this factor? As long as you are not breaking the other 7 deadly sins of eCommerce, the lack of customer reviews is holding your brand back from effectively generating eCommerce sales in a consistent and affordable manner.

Why You Need Them?

Think about the last time that you made a purchase online. Do you remember why you bought something? Did someone refer you to the brand or mention they use that product? Did you see someone you respect post about it on social media? When you got to the product page, did you read the reviews from previous customers? I know personally that reviews and personal recommendations are major factors in why I buy products online and in person. As humans, we are social creatures and are influenced deeply by other peoples’ opinions. 

According to Econsultancy data, sites showcasing testimonials can experience up to an 18% increase in sales, while increasing the likelihood of purchase for 63% of site visitors. Now take into consideration that 67% of consumers read 6 reviews or less before they feel they can trust a business enough to make a purchase and as many as 79% of consumers trust product reviews as much as a personal recommendation. 

However, not all reviews are created equal. Almost 80% of consumers have changed their minds about purchases based on negative reviews they read about a product or brand online. What we are alluding to here is that your social reputation online is of the utmost importance when improving your eCommerce sales over time and should not be left to chance. Showcasing unbiased and verified customer reviews on your website is a sure way to develop trust with new customers, creating confidence in their purchase.

How to Get Reviews?

So you’re convinced of the importance of displaying customer reviews across your eCommerce store, but the question is how do you acquire these verified customer reviews? Simply put, just ask! As the old saying goes, ask and thou shall receive. Most brands overlook this simple truth. Using platforms like Yotpo provides you an end to end solution for acquiring reviews and displaying them across your website at key places along the customer journey. 

Just asking is the first step, but to get a meaningful amount of consistent reviews requires a bit of strategy and experimenting. If it is difficult to write a review, the odds of a customer leaving one is low. Making sure that the friction is essentially zero is key when putting together a review funnel. Yotpo’s auto-send reviews make it easy, especially combined with Shopify. These two platforms sync data to each other, providing Yotpo with the Shopify order information, making the review request email personal and relevant to the consumer. 

Lastly, reward your customers for leaving a review. Incentivizing them to review your product is a sure way to increase the number of reviews you can display on your site and across social media. Make the reward worth their time, such as a 20-25% off discount code. Offer a discount that makes you feel uncomfortable. You want to make it extremely enticing for your customers to leave a positive review. I can ensure you that over the long term these reviews will make up for these discounts tenfold if used correctly. Plus, if the customer who is leaving a review is incentivized to purchase another product, then you are increasing the lifetime value and building brand loyalty, which is making your marketing money work more efficiently long term. 

How to Leverage Reviews?

Now that you have gathered reviews and have a system to incentivize reviews from new customers, how do you best leverage these? First, across the eCommerce store, we need to make sure that we place them in key areas to establish trust with new visitors. Yotpo makes this extremely easy. With Yotpo, you can display them on the product page, collections page, home page, and the checkout page increasing the frequency the visitor will consult them whether or not they should purchase. 

Yotpo also offers the option to display verified customer reviews across different platforms, such as Google, Instagram, and Facebook. On Google, you can display the reviews on both organic, paid and shopping listings. This not only increases the likelihood of developing trust with consumers who are browsing similar products but also bridges the gap of trust before they even visit your website. If used correctly on Google PPC Ads, these reviews can decrease the cost per click (CPC), increase the conversion rate because of the established trust and make our marketing spend work more effectively. On Facebook and Instagram, you can leverage these reviews as high-converting native ads that potential new customers can relate to. This also bridges the trust gap before the customer even visits the website, increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase.   

Final Thoughts

Gathering reviews are great for increasing the trust of new visitors, driving more sales, and growing your company’s bottom line. Most importantly though, it is giving key insights into your customer base and community. It is providing a constant stream of feedback for future research and development. At the end of the day, businesses are built to solve problems for their customers by providing a service or a product. The better and more precise you can solve your customers’ problems, the more likely they will become lifelong customers and brand advocates. Reviews are a gateway to improving your products and at the same time developing trust with new customers. Do not break one of the seven deadly eCommerce sins by disregarding the importance of gathering, displaying and leveraging verified customer reviews.