In recent years, the digital marketplace has exploded in size and scale, almost to the point of – if not totally – eclipsing brick and mortar retail in some industries. Buying goods and services online offers many benefits to consumers, including convenience, instant access to large inventories, no crowds, and more. As online consumerism continues to expand, retailers will compete harder than ever before to capture the attention of browsing eyes. But there is one incredibly influential piece of online consumerism that relies almost solely on the consumer: online reviews.
It’s no secret that online reviews are widely used by consumers to make purchasing decisions. On some websites, such as e-commerce giant Amazon, customers can not only just review a product, but also rate OTHER people’s reviews based on helpfulness. Not only do online reviews help inform decisions, but it also affects the credibility of a brand and a business’ appearance in search results.
So, the question is: does your business receive enough online reviews to help potential customers invest in your product or service? If your lack of endorsements is turning customers away, here are some tips for garnering more online reviews for your products, services, or business in general:
Create an automated email campaign. This should be an easy task for any email marketer, but the quickest and simplest way to get more product and service reviews for online purchases is to ask for them. Consider creating an automated email campaign that is triggered to send an email asking for a review about 5-7 business days after a customer has made a purchase. The timing of this campaign is key; asking customers to review a product just after they’ve purchased is like asking someone to rate a meal seconds after they’ve ordered. Give your customers time to receive and engage with their order, and then ask them for their genuine thoughts.
Reply to all online reviews. Taking the time to reply to all online reviews, good or bad, reminds consumers that their feedback is valued. Set-up a weekly reminder to sort through reviews that come in, or respond to them immediately, to address any questions or concerns customers have provided.At the very least, create an automated email to thank them for taking the time to review your product. When consumers feel their input is important, they are more likely to continue providing valuable feedback.
Incentivize online reviews. Nothing excites an online shopper like the prospect of a deal or discount, so boost your chances of more online reviews by offering benefits to people who take the time to write them. Some loyalty programs offer points for every review that eventually add up to a prize or discount, while other retailers offer immediate promotions or money for every review left. If you can’t afford to offer everyone an incentive, set-up a review lottery where customers have a chance to win a larger prize for their feedback entry.
Share positive reviews on your website and other social media channels. Spreading the love you’ve already received will make people more inclined to share it themselves. Feature positive testimonials on your website or create fun social media graphics or email campaigns that do double-duty by spreading positivity about your company while encouraging others to do the same.
Take the time to ask for and encourage online reviews so your online offerings will be better set up to stand out in a crowded online marketplace. Be sure to always thank customers for their positive reviews, as well as their constructive criticism that can help you refine and perfect the product or service you are selling.