According to BrightLocal.com, who published a massive post on how product reviews affect your business, products backed up by positive reviews will increase spending by around 31% on those products.
“84% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.”
When you remind yourself that this is just people reading strangers opinions online, it’s pretty mind-blowing how powerful that is.
But what about the negative side?
They go on to say that “People hesitate to purchase from businesses with no reviews or with too many negative reviews” and that a “single negative review can drive away approximately 22% of customers, whereas around three negative reviews can drive away 59% of the customers”.
So is it worth the risk to have reviews on your e-commerce store?
Should You Be Asking For A Review?
As you can see, a review can be a powerful thing – both powerfully positive or powerfully negative.
I think the implication for stores is mostly positive. Especially when you consider that reviews are social proof and social proof is very well known in the modern sales process.
Reviews Are Social Proof
Social proof is very important for online sales because the sales experience can be very isolating for customers.
Seeing that others have bought previously is a great passive method of validation. It backs up the positive thoughts that they’re about to make a good choice by buying this product or service.
People like to see others have bought what they’re about to buy and it makes them feel like they’re not alone in their actions.
Reviews Are Research
Because buying products online is so commonplace nowadays, reading online reviews has become a way for people to “research” a product. It helps them seek validation.
But what many store owners don’t understand is that reviews can be another way for you to subtlely “sell” your product.
Letting your customers do the talking for you is like putting them in the driver’s seat to sell your product and that is extremely powerful.
Remember that stat we opened with from BrightLocal.com – “84% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation”.
Why Feedback Request Emails Are So Important For Driving Social Proof
What is that exactly?
Diffusion Of Innovators
The theory of diffusion says that social proof is essential for the spread of an idea or trend. In other words, the vast majority of customers (from the early majority to the late majority in the graph below) will require visual proof of others doing the same before they buy a product from you.
If you can show that your products are already popular then you’re more likely to have higher sales.
That is why social proof is highly important in online sales today.
Securing early reviews from customers can help you get past this early adopter hump and lift your products into the mainstream.
Feedback requests can seem like such a small thing to do, but when you take into account the downstream effects, it’s easy to see how this small activity can drive the whole social proof effect surrounding your products.
How To Encourage Customers To Write Reviews
There are three things you need to do to encourage customers to write reviews:
- Make it easy
- Be specific
Make It Easy
You might be saying “Thank you, Captain Obvious” right now, but making it as easy as possible for customers to leave a review is rarely something you think about when you’re designing your site for the first time.
Go and check now, how easy is it really for your customers to leave a review?
What happens after their purchase? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Is there an easy way for them to come back and review those products they bought and provide their insightful comments?
Are the reviews nice and visible and is it easy to see where to enter their review and what will happen when they do so?
Make it as easy as you can on your customers because leaving a review is going to require effort on their part.
You’d be surprised how little this is done.
Most stores simply forget to ask for a review.
It can be a simple as a follow-up email a few days after they are due to receive their product.
There are many ways to automate that process, especially when you use modern email marketing tools like Drip or MailChimp.
Tell them exactly what to do.
If you want them to leave a 5-star review, tell them “Leave your 5-star review here: [link]”.
If you want them to leave more details than just “Great”, try to coax more information out of them such as asking for their experience so far.
These subtle cues are what will make your customer reviews shine.
5 Email Templates You Can Use To Get More Product Reviews
Asking is important as we mentioned, so we have put together 5 email templates that you can borrow and use right now.
These templates are copies of emails that we’ve actually used on many e-commerce stores and they will help boost your reviews straight away.
Initially, you don’t even need to set this up to be automated. If your sales numbers are low enough, do it manually for a while. Send the emails by hand a few days after you know your customers will receive their products.
If you click the button above you’ll also get a copy of our PDF guide on how to add wholesale to your WooCommerce store.