The Simple Change To Your WooCommerce Store That Can Give You An 18% Sales Uplift

customer reviews WooCommerce Increase Sales Product ReviewsDid you know that there’s a hidden tweak that you can make on your product pages in your WooCommerce site today that will have a huge impact on your sales?

It’s most likely not even something that you’ll need a developer to implement.

Consider the following stats:
  • 63% of customers a more likely to make a purchase from a site that features product reviews
  • Products that feature 50 or more reviews can experience an immediate 4.6% increase in conversions
  • 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision
  • Reviews produce an average 18% uplift in sales

We recently came across these enlightening statistics on Econsultancy’s excellent e-commerce tips blog.

If you haven’t guessed already, the simple change I’m referring to is the decision to show reviews on your WooCommerce product pages.

For those of us who already have them switched on you’re forgiven for thinking this is a bit of an obvious tactic.

For everyone else however, me telling you to turn on reviews on your website may be giving you a full body shiver or fear inducing thoughts of “What happens if all the reviews are bad?!”.

That’s enough to make any business person lose sleep!

Well, stick with me, because this post is for you.

I’m going to try and convince you to put those thoughts aside for a moment and see why enabling reviews might be the best decision you’ve ever made on your WooCommerce store.

Here’s Why Reviews Matter

The promise of increased conversion rates and adding $$$ to your bottom line (both of which you can likely expect from turning product reviews on) sounds amazing, right?

But why would adding such a simple thing to your product pages matter so much?

Reading reviews from other previous customers factors heavily into the buying process.

That’s why 61% of customers read online reviews before they make their purchase (and it’s even higher in some niches, such as electronics).

Thanks to the convenience of online shopping, people can potentially agonise over their purchase for weeks!

Reviews that are shown directly on your product page can help shortcut that process.

Studies also show that consumer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than product descriptions.

So the reason why reviews are there is to alleviate any doubts your potential customers are having about their purchase and provide some solid social evidence that the product and company behind the product are ok to buy from.

But What About Bad Reviews?

The number #1 objection to including reviews from ecommerce store owners is that they don’t want to show any negative reviews on their site about their product for fear that someone might reconsider purchasing the product.

Contrary to this instinct is the evidence that bad reviews actually don’t harm the purchases at all, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

As long as the bad reviews are the few amongst many good ones, then 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad reviews.

Whereas 30% of people immediately suspect that the reviews might have been censored, or worse faked, when they don’t see any negative reviews at all.

So the bottom line is that a mix of positive and negative reviews can definitely help to improve the trust factor of the reviews they are reading on your site.

The thing to remember is that at the end of the day, it’s your website and you can moderate the reviews as they come in.

If you’re concerned about letting a particular bad review through or you feel it was written with ill-intent and/or bad language then don’t approve it.

How To Enable WooCommerce Reviews

So have I convinced you to give product reviews a try?

Implementing product reviews in WooCommerce is generally quite easy, though the readiness of your site’s theme might play a part as to whether you would need to contact your web developer.

If you are using a comment-disabling plugin or have comments off in your WordPress Discussion settings, Reviews will not display. In this case you can still have reviews enabled on your site, you just need to visit the Advanced tab on each product and check the Enable Reviews checkbox.

To enable comments site wide (reviews are just fancy comments) you just need to goto Settings->Discussion and check the “Allow people to post comments on new articles” setting. I also recommend checking the “Comment must be manually approved” setting so you can moderate reviews as they come in.

You should now see a Reviews tab on your products.

Once reviews are switched on, there’s a few important settings in your dashboard that I think you should tweak to make them more effective.

In your WooCommerce->Settings menu, click on the Products tab.

In the General settings here you will see a section marked “Reviews”. This controls how reviews are used throughout your site.

Tweak Product Review Settings WooCommerce

If you think your products can support a rating system (and you have enough customers to do so) then you can use this to turn on a star system so people can rate the product.

Rating systems are great for products that are subjective and based on consumer opinion, like wine for instance.

Not all people will give the same star rating (which is ok), but in aggregate of star ratings over a number of customers will produce a neat little product rating scale that gives customers a quick glance at the consumer opinion of a product. It’s also a very handy tool for store owners to knowing whether to drop a product from your lineup!

I also recommend checking the “verified owner” settings. This will ensure that only customers who really have bought and experienced the product are able to leave a review.

On most themes it will also show a neat little “Verified” badge next to their reviews which will immediately give the review more authority.

Resolve To Test Enabling Product Reviews

Although enabling reviews yields positive effects on most sites, there is a possibility that it won’t do that for your site.

As with any change to your site, it’s important that you should measure and test it’s impact.

At a minimum I suggest looking up the last couple of months worth of visitor data to your highest traffic product pages and determining what their conversion rate was – that is the % of visitors from the total visitors to those product pages who clicked the add to cart button.

Run your reviews for a good amount of time to get a gauge of how it’s effecting your site. At a minimum for a busy site, I would suggest 3 months, otherwise it might take 6 months or more to get enough data (even though 47% of people have written a review at one point, they probably won’t be bashing down your door to write one the moment you enable it).

In a future post, we’ll be covering your options for how to attract more customer reviews to your WooCommerce site. Until then, happy reviewing!

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