In Greek mythology, King Midas could turn everything he touched to gold, coining the phrase “the Midas touch.” Although you’re likely not a Greek King, you may have the same ability, except everything you touch in your business can turn into sales gold.
What’s the secret?
User-generated content (UGC) in the form of ratings and reviews.
From increasing web visibility to building shopper confidence to lifting conversions, reviews cast a large magical web over numerous aspects of your business.
So, how do reviews magically improve your business? Let’s count the ways.
- Most consumers consult with reviews when shopping for new products. Reviews introduce new products, with 75% of shoppers using reviews to discover and evaluate products. Not only do shoppers look at reviews, they care about the number of them. According to Deloitte and Touche LLP research, a high number of reviews is one of the most significant factors that sway purchasing decisions for 46% of shoppers.
- Brands utilizing reviews see a significant conversion and revenue lift. Shoppers engaging with reviews from the best-in-class sites (the top 25% of our clients) saw a 138% increase in sales conversion. Additionally, our network in 2019 saw a 159% boost in revenue from shoppers engaging with reviews. This is because shoppers trust their fellow consumers. That said, brands providing clear and truthful reviews encourage shoppers to make more confident buying decisions.
- Reviews give your brand an edge over the competition. According to the 2019 Shopper Experience Index, 63% of e-commerce brands said reviews improved SEO. Because reviews create more content for websites, they can add more keywords relevant to your business, boosting your SEO. Also, Google plays favorites with brands that have positive reviews since it wants to provide users the best experience possible.
- Fellow shoppers advocate for your brand’s trustworthiness in the form of reviews. Shoppers want to buy from brands they trust. In fact, close to 82% of shoppers refuse to buy from a brand they don’t deem trustworthy. With over 78% of shoppers using reviews to identify brands they trust, it’s essential to keep the reviews pouring in.
Brands crushing the review collection game
Now you see the importance of a review collection, how are brands doing it? Here’s a few examples of brands amplifying the voices of their customers and building their sales conversions along the way.
Making lasting impressions
Shoppers remember first impressions. Brands making a splash sway the shoppers’ experience—good or bad. That’s why the first thing you see on Carvana’s home and product pages are the rave (and not so rave) reviews.
Once you arrive on Carvana’s homepage, visitors witness fellow shopper’s affirmations of the brand. Carvana embraces the power of all reviews and invites web visitors to check out what fellow customers have to say (the good, the bad, and the ugly).
Fueling retail sales and partnerships
Petmate enhances buyer confidence and purchasing decisions by distributing reviews of products on the Bazaarvoice Network retail sites. If not for the network and syndication of reviews, most of Petmate’s products would have no review content. But now it’s syndicated over 8500 reviews across more than 50 retailers in the Bazaarvoice Network.
This initiative helps feed sales to the retail channels while simultaneously solidifying relationships with partners.
Bridging the gap between the user experience online and in-stores
Although online shopping is the primary way people prefer to shop, in-store shopping still provides a convenient and straightforward purchasing method. To showcase fellow shoppers’ opinions of products, Neutragena includes testimonials on all in-store displays and signage.
This way, shoppers can instantly engage with the reviews of others while trying the new product out for themselves.
Top 5 ways to get more product reviews from customers
1. Incentives optimize reviews on products
Waiting for reviews on products to filter in organically is like waiting for paint to dry. A great way to turn on the review water valve is to incentivize feedback. While you may think shoppers are skeptical of an incentive initiative, they actually aren’t phased. Therefore, both organically and incentivized reviews matter to shoppers.
To encourage your shoppers, you could create sweepstakes, for example. With a sweepstake, shoppers exchange review submissions for the chance to win a prize. Sweepstakes improve submission rates, drive volume spikes, and improve a product’s average star rating. Other options include offering discounts, loyalty points, coupons, or other incentives.
From cashback to loyalty points to coupons, shoppers drool over freebies—who doesn’t? Not to mention they love to share their opinion about the brands. But just make sure you’re transparent about the incentive, so you can continue building trust with your shoppers. We recommend including a descriptor such as,” This reviewer received a free product in exchange for their honest feedback” to any incentive reviews.
2. Post-interaction emails (PIE) encourage review submissions
One of the best solutions to get product review submissions is to email customers asking them to review a product right after purchase. Our research shows that post-interaction emails (PIE) yield an increase of 4-9x in review content. And, if you send a follow-up email, you may see a 50% increase in review volume.
If you collect the shopper’s email at the point of sale, you can include a link to the item in question. In fact, roughly 80% of collected reviews on products come from a PIE that contains the product link. If the product purchased is a mystery, you can email the shopper to pick from several items and write a product review from there.
For the best results, don’t wait too long to interact with your shoppers. Ideally, you’ll want to send the PIE after the shopper has received the item and has had time to test it. Also, avoid including too many calls to action. You don’t want the shopper to become overwhelmed. Instead, stick with one call to action, like “write a review,” so that they understand the message right from the start.
3. Utilize social to capture reviews
Shoppers want brands to hear them loud and clear. They want to know brands care about their thoughts and opinions. Building and nurturing relationships with shoppers can do just that.
So, what’s a great way to validate their opinion and feedback? Meet and connect with them where they spend most of their time—social media. Shoppers spend more money with brands they connect with. According to Sprout Social, 57% of shoppers will buy from brands they feel more connected with, and 76% of shoppers will buy from a brand they have a relationship with as opposed to a competitor.
One way to ask for a review on social media is to share recent feedback from your shoppers and directly tag them. In addition, you can include a link to your product page requesting more reviews from your social media audience. Another way to get a product review is to simply ask your audience to write a product review about a specific product or an assortment of products.
You could also utilize your social media network of influencers—if you have one—to write a review about a product they love. Even better, you can design a badge showcasing the influencer’s review and expertise. Since shoppers trust the opinions of influencers, the badge will validate the quality of the purchase.
4. Get product reviews with visuals
While written reviews are great, reviews with visual content take the cake. Strong image-based content creates an in-store experience for the shopper. In addition, visuals help customers observe the product content as if it were right in front of them, creating more buying confidence. According to Bazaarvoice data, 62% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product if the review has visual content.
Therefore, allowing shoppers to submit visual content increases the originality of each review, but it also increases sales.
To encourage more reviews and ultimately increase revenue, it’s essential to give customers the ability to showcase content on your site instantly. Incorporating visual reviews into your broader marketing output will transform the consumer’s online shopping experience and set your brand apart from the competition.
5. Amplify collection efforts with product ratings & reviews tools
Time for a shameless plug. You know you need reviews, but why go it alone? Managing, collecting, and updating reviews is time-consuming and cumbersome. Using proven resources like the Bazaarvoice Ratings and Reviews tool provides the technology to efficiently and effectively manage your UGC (including collecting reviews) at scale.
Our industry-leading reporting and analytics suite will then show you the sales impact of your UGC.
These resources take the guesswork out of gathering new reviews while effortlessly elevating the voice of your shoppers and conversions. To get started on your review collection journey, contact us here!