Today, we’re going to talk about an essential aspect of your digital strategy: product reviews and how to use them to drive lead conversions.
Social proof & user generated content
We’ve discussed user-generated content (UGC) a fair amount in other posts, so if you want to dissect the guts of it, check it out here (make sure to come back so you can learn about the specifics of applying this content!)
As for social proof, this is something that doesn’t take too much explaining. Why? Because it’s not a new concept: it’s been around forever. You trust a product because other people trust a product. This is why what I’m about to show you works. Although you can wax lyrical about your brand on social media ‘til the cows come home, it’s unlikely to be as useful as a positive review from a customer. However, you need to find a way to place your invaluable UGC in plain sight to attract potential customers.
How do product reviews increase online store conversions?
In 2017, 97% of consumers read online reviews prior to making a buying decision. Not only do people seek out reviews, but they also take them seriously: 85% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Reviews are what make your online shop legitimate and trustworthy in the eyes of a potential customer. A target of fifty reviews per product is a good place to start, as this can drive conversions up an average of 4.6% compared to having no reviews at all. You can’t expect leads to trust a company without any third party evaluation of your products and services. Shoppers are devoid of a lot of senses when shopping online which makes it limited for a person to evaluate a possible purchase. Turning to customer reviews for advice is the most logical solution to overcoming these hindrances.
Not only does your business benefit through conversions by embedding reviews, but you can also use this data as actionable product development. Customers often have constructive feedback (even if it’s not always phrased in such a way) that can help you to identify areas for improvement within your product range.
How do reviews increase traffic to your site?
This is where UGC gets exciting. One of the benefits of having reviews on your online store is that the content generates long-tail keywords. This is great for SEO: once enough of your product reviews include these keywords, your site will start to rank higher in Google search results. Getting these reviews across social media is also a major bonus. given that Google recognises social sharing and helps to improve your ranking.
Contrary to what you might think, 71% of online reviews are positive. Online businesses sometimes shy away from the vital task of asking for their customers’ feedback as they fear that the majority will be negative reviews. However, the stats show that you can rely on your customers to give honest and generally complimentary feedback, provided you deliver a helpful and beneficial service.
Think about it this way: achieving more positive reviews generates more long-tail keywords by Google’s crawlers, which in turn elevates your Google rankings.
Take advantage of app features that boost traffic through Google searches
If your UGC management app doesn’t have rich snippet capabilities, I’d propose looking elsewhere. Google has done a lot of work to ensure that the limited space for each ranking has the potential to convey information quickly. These dynamic elements can be in the form of review stars, pricing, availability and boost SEO. The bright yellow stars on your site preview can make all the difference in diverting a browser’s attention away from your competitors to focus on your site's offerings.
Another area to tackle if you’re looking to increase traffic is Google Shopping, which is becoming much more relevant to buyers' shopping habits. Certain apps will automatically push reviews to your Google Shopping. Shopify stores that branch into Google Shopping can often be worn thin by the stretching time and resources, so it’s great to have an app that can automate tasks.
How do you get customer reviews?
Design a killer post purchase email
You need to strike a balance between confidence and gratefulness. Similar to that needy ex that brings you an “I’m sorry” teddy bear, many post-purchase emails come across as too sweet or needy. Your customers don’t need that in their lives and will send it straight to their trash folder.
Ask directly and make it snappy. Treat your customers - the people who have actually given you business and are willing to relay feedback - like kings and queens. If there are multiple stages and dozens of questions, you’re going to get half completed reviews that will be of no use to you. Respect your customers - they have the potential to market your product. This tact is very much in line with the inbound marketing approach. A key thing you need to remember when collecting reviews is to create a delightful process.
You know not to start your questionnaire off with “what’s wrong with our services?” - it may force your customer to start thinking about the negatives of your business rather than the positives. So, keep questions light, or even entertaining, and you’ll be much more likely to get bouncy, favourable feedback.
You need to get your act together when it comes to designing a quick questionnaire. At the end of this article, we’ve rounded up the best apps to manage and optimise your UGC.
Reward customers for their feedback
Provide reviewers with the chance to win a voucher or coupon to use towards their next purchase in exchange for leaving a review. Building an eCommerce business involves showing your customers you care: you want to construct long-term relationships with these customers and listen to what they think of your brand. Customers look for these interactions in their buying experiences. They don’t want soulless transactions, but instead want to feel part of a community.
What product review apps do we recommend for Shopify?
This app manages all reviews across all platforms, as well as incentives and thank you pages. It really is an all-rounder for optimising UGC. What’s smooth about the capabilities is the option for reviews to be left in after sales emails, making the process smooth and effortless. Simply put, Stamped.io enables you to harness the power of your customers’ words.
Okendo is all about the visuals, encouraging customers to give feedback with photos or even videos. This rich content compels buying action and also brings your product to life. Another solid selling point of this app is its interface, particularly its mobile-first design, that creates a delightful after-sales experience for your customers.
Struggling to get reviews for your online store? Need assistance integrating a product review app into your Shopify store? We're here to help. Contact Elkfox today!