Social proof is becoming increasingly vital for online selling success. Without it, it’s incredibly difficult to get started with your prospects much less influence them to part with their money. One of the best forms of social proof in ecommerce are positive online reviews.
A lot of research demonstrates the influence of positive reviews on consumers' buying decisions. Ninety percent of shoppers say reviews have influenced their decision to buy, so it’s important to get them to keep your conversion rates healthy.
Here are several things you can do to encourage winning reviews that will enhance your online success.
Offer a Quality Product
The most natural way to encourage word-of-mouth marketing is to offer a product that’s simply better than the rest at meeting a need, want or pain point. Customers who feel they've made a smart purchase will often be more willing to share the details of their "score" with others who aren't "in the know."
Make Sure Success Comes Quickly
Even the best product is wasted if customers don’t get value from it. Customers are most interested in your product in the period immediately after they’ve purchased, so make sure you take advantage of that. Get customers using your product as quickly as possible and ensure they have all the information they need to start deriving value from it.
Find the Right Time
It’s important not to ask for a review before a customer could derive value but also not too long after they’ve purchased (unless it’s a subscription product). Reach out through a channel that makes sense for your customers whether that’s email, SMS message or, if you’re a software product, directly on your platform.
Thank customers for their business and ask them if they would be willing to provide feedback on your product.
Make it Easy
Placing the information customers need to write a review right at their fingertips will simplify the process and make it more likely to actually be completed. Include an expected time commitment (it should be short) and provide a compelling reason to give their feedback whether it’s to help your product development or to help other customers make the right choice.
Have a button with a clear call-to-action which links to one review site and automatically takes them to a window where they can write their review. Provide examples of what others have written to get them started.
If you want to get reviews for multiple sites, segment your customer list so that you’re not asking for too much at once.
For Those That Need an Extra Push
It’s hard to get reviews and sometimes you may need to offer customers a little added incentive to get them to devote some time to leaving you one. Consider offering a small gift, loyalty points (if you have a program) or offer to enter them in to a draw for a prize.
Be Accountable for Your Reviews
Thank your customers for their feedback, and if you get any negative responses, respond to them and try to make things right. People don’t expect you to be perfect every time but your professional handling of issues will make a positive impression on readers. It could even inspire that customer to leave a second, more positive review about the way you resolved their issue.
Online Reviews: A Crucial Component of Social Proof
Online reviews on the sites most frequented by your potential customers is no longer optional. Attracting positive reviews will not only help your business build credibility, it will also help spread the word about your product's unique selling points in an increasingly competitive online marketplace.