With so many consumers turning to the virtual marketplace to make purchases, online consumer reviews can make or break an eCommerce business. With the increase in global connectivity, potential eCommerce buyers have even more options to sift through than ever before. Customer reviews are needed and have become an invaluable lifeline in helping to separate the stars from the soot of online shopping. Let’s dive in and explore the valuable insights that reviews offer and how you can maximize their impact.
Why are reviews important in eCommerce?
1. Encourage communication with customers
Think of your online shop as a virtual party. Reviews act as the lively conversation starter that gets everyone mingling. When customers leave reviews, they're not just sharing their experiences; they're also engaging with your brand. Responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, creates a friendly dialogue, showing your customers that you genuinely care about their opinions and experiences. It's like being the gracious host who listens attentively to each guest's story, making them feel valued and appreciated. This communication not only fosters trust but also allows you to keep a constant pulse on customer sentiment.
2. Increase your brand awareness and loyalty
Positive reviews act as shiny beacons, drawing in potential buyers and online shoppers like moths to a flame. They contribute to building a sparkling reputation for your brand, helping you stand out in the vast sea of eCommerce stores. When customers share their positive experiences, they develop a sense of loyalty to your brand, transforming them into repeat customers and brand advocates. Remember, happy customers are your most persuasive salespeople!
3. Gain unbiased insight into your products
When shoppers leave reviews for your online store, they're not on anyone's payroll; they're just honest folks sharing their unfiltered thoughts. This candid feedback helps you see your products through the eyes of your customers, gaining valuable information about what works well and what might need to be revamped. Identifying trends in reviews can guide you towards product improvements or even inspire new ideas. So, cherish those reviews, they are a goldmine of genuine opinions that help you continually level up your offerings.
4. Enhance CRO
Your conversion rate is one of the most valuable KPIs for an eCommerce brand. Your offerings alone are usually not enough to prompt a purchase. Reviews play a vital role in sealing the deal. When potential buyers read positive reviews, it builds trust and confidence in their next purchase or decision. And, as we all know, a higher level of trust leads to more sales and a higher conversion rate. Moreover, reviews add fresh, user-generated content to your site, keeping it alive and relevant in the eyes of search engines, which, of course, helps your visibility and brings even more potential customers to your virtual storefront.
4. Improve SEO
Without the help of SEO, the shorthand for search engine optimization, the right people may never find your products or services, no matter how much they may love them. Reviews can improve your brand’s Google ranking and keyword search, increasing your relevance online. You can also effectively manage customer reviews by leveraging UGC in email and on social media to boost traffic to your site, potentially increasing your overall conversions.
How to get eCommerce reviews from your customers
Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge in the right direction. Don't be shy to ask your customers for their opinions! Remember, most customers are more than happy to lend their voices when approached politely. It makes them feel special that you value their opinion!
Build review requests into the post-purchase email
The post-purchase email is a perfect opportunity to ask for feedback and increase customer reviews! In this message, express your gratitude for their purchase and the trust they've placed in your brand. Then, sprinkle in a gentle request for feedback on their shopping experience. Make it easy for them by providing a direct link to the review form. If you’re using a unified platform like Sendlane, your reviews product is already integrated with your email and eCom platform! Keeping it simple is the best way to see more reviews. Sendlane’s post-purchase automations make adding review requests to your email flows as easy as setting and forgetting.
Respond to customer feedback
If a customer leaves a review and does not receive a response within a timely manner, it can feel like shouting into the void. Engagement builds a bond between you and your customers. Whenever a review appears, be it sparkling with praise or the not-so sparkling, be swift in your response. Address their comments, thank them for their feedback, and assure them that their voice has been heard. When customers see that you genuinely care about their experiences, they'll be more inclined to leave reviews in the future.
Utilize easy integration
Review platforms are where customer feedback spreads and flourishes. Consider joining relevant eCommerce review sites, like Shopify, regularly searching your brand on social media platforms, or integrating Google review plugins directly into your eCommerce website. Collecting reviews via email is easier than ever, so it is important to make sure the platform you choose can seamlessly integrate with your eCommerce website. Sendlane’s free reviews makes it easy to collect, monitor, and dynamically display reviews all within one platform
Provide exemplary customer service
Give customers an experience worth raving about. When customers feel you offer exceptional customer care, it leaves an everlasting impression. From handling inquiries promptly to going above and beyond to resolve any issues, your dedication to impeccable service will not go unnoticed. Satisfied customers are more likely to sing your praises and leave glowing reviews that attract others.
How to respond to reviews in eCommerce
You got reviews, yes! But now you’re not sure how to respond. Replying to customer reviews is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Each type of online review requires a different approach.
Responding to positive reviews is an opportunity to show gratitude and reinforce the positive experience of the customer.
Be Appreciative: Express your genuine appreciation for the customer's kind words and their decision to choose the online purchase of your product or service.
Personalize Your Response: Address the customer by their name if possible, and reference specific aspects of their review. Creating a one-of-a-kind experience for the customer may also help your brand get more positive reviews in the future.
Promote Engagement: Encourage the customer to return for future purchases or share their experience with others. A simple statement like "We look forward to serving you again" can go a long way. You can also provide an incentive for them to leave a review, or send post-purchase product recommendations.
Responding to negative reviews can be challenging, but if handled properly, they can provide an opportunity to showcase transparency and excellent customer service.
Remain Calm and Empathetic: Avoid getting defensive or confrontational. Show empathy towards the customer's concerns and acknowledge their feelings.
Apologize and Take Responsibility: Even if the issue was not directly your fault, take responsibility for the customer's negative experience and apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Offer a Solution: If applicable, propose a solution to rectify the problem. Whether it's a refund, replacement, or assistance in resolving the issue, demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Encourage Private Communication: To avoid further public discussion of sensitive matters, invite the customer to contact you privately through email or direct messaging.
Spam reviews are usually fake, irrelevant, or promotional in nature. It's essential to handle them promptly to avoid their negative impact on your online business.
Remove or Report: Most reputable eCommerce platforms have mechanisms to flag and report spam reviews. Make use of these options to maintain the authenticity of your review section.
Explain the Action Taken: If you remove a spam review, consider posting a brief response informing other customers reading reviews that the review was found to violate guidelines and has been taken down to ensure transparency. A platform like Sendlane will show you verified buyers for easy approval.
Misplaced reviews are those that are unrelated to the product or service being reviewed. While they might not be intentionally harmful, they can mislead customers.
Politely Redirect: Thank the customer for their feedback, but politely clarify that their negative review seems to be intended for a different product or service.
Suggest Correct Placement: If possible, direct the customer to the appropriate online product reviews page or suggest alternative ways to provide feedback for the item they meant to review.
In all cases, maintain a professional and courteous tone in your responses. Remember that your replies are visible to the public and can influence the perception of potential new customers. Timely responses also demonstrate that you actively engage with your audience, showing that their opinions matter to you.
How to improve your review strategy using Sendlane
With Sendlane, you can manage your email, SMS, reviews and pop-upsin one convenient interface. Keep tabs on what everyone is saying about your brand, ask for feedback from customers, and respond to comments promptly in one snazzy platform.
To learn more about how Sendlane can streamline your eCommerce operations, talk to a member of the team today!