10 effective ways to improve online reviews and ratings

| Jewel

“Reviews are essential to evaluation, which is essential to progress.”

Customer reviews and ratings are social proof and an excellent marketing strategy that have a significant impact on the buying decisions of your potential customers. When it comes to making any decisions we rely on our networks, opinions, and advice from people around us, suggestions from social groups, and more. With increasing online networks and social media platforms, the majority of customers who research their needs, rely on reviews and ratings. According to a study, 93% of consumers feel that reviews affect their shopping choices and are a reliable source when making purchase decisions. 

Online reviews and ratings include positive, negative, and sometimes false claims about a product or a service. Positive reviews have a direct impact on potential customers and they can trust a brand, products, or services. Negative reviews also influence customers, in terms of creating transparency and authenticity in a business. With only positive reviews consumers sometimes hesitate to buy because they think the product might be too good to be true. A mix of positive and negative reviews ensures that businesses are creating a transparent experience and helping consumers to make better purchasing decisions.

In this article, we are going to discuss the impact of online customer reviews on purchasing decisions of a consumer and ways to encourage them to write reviews. 

Impact of online reviews on purchasing decisions of a consumerimpact of online reviews and ratings

Customer reviews help you optimize your shopping experience and create trust thereby increasing sales and engagement. As per a study by Medill Spiegel Researchers, the probability of a product with five reviews is 270% more than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews. Online reviews also foster loyalty and supports ‘buzz marketing’ which is a great method for promoting return visits and is likely to influence another purchase. 

The volume of online reviews not only provides a direct measure of understanding of product information but also directly influences the popularity of the product among consumers. For instance, when we search for any product online, we use filters and conditions to narrow down and get the right product. And finally, before purchasing, we do look for reviews and ratings to assure that the decision made is right. 

The more reviews that are published, the more visitors are encouraged to provide feedback. As a result, customer reviews have become crucial to the e-commerce industry. Not every shopper would want to express his opinion about the product. However, you can definitely encourage them to leave a review using certain ways. Let’s see how!

10 effective ways to get customer reviews

1. Simplify the review process
Example of a simple review process

To generate more customer reviews it’s important to make it easy for the customers to leave their comments or ratings. Some customers like to express their views, both good and bad, but most of them are likely to skip reviews as it’s a time-consuming, and draggy process. However, if the review request is easy and simple there are more chances of customers leaving a review. For instance, sending review links directly, instead of signing up and then leaving reviews, can encourage even more customers. 

2. Respond to customer reviewsResponse to review

Replying to customer reviews is one of the top ways of encouraging customers to leave more reviews. Especially when it comes to negative reviews, customers feel acknowledged when they see feedback or reply with a solution or apologies. Irrespective of whether positive or negative thoughts, expressing your appreciation can go a long way. Showing gratitude and thanking them can make it personal as well as assure that their good deed didn’t go unnoticed.

3. Incentivize the reviewGet reviews through incentives

Who doesn’t enjoy free perks? Giving incentives in the form of discounts, offers, free services, etc can push your consumers to leave a review. It’s also essential to approach tactically as incentivized reviews risk crossing ethical boundaries. The important part is that your consumers should feel valued and appreciated for taking the time to leave you a valuable review on your website.

4. Personalize the responseexample of personalized reposnse to a review

Studies suggest that personalized response to reviews significantly increases the web survey response. No one likes an automated response to feedback especially if one is giving constructive criticism. It boosts credibility among the customers and they are more likely to engage in the personalized response. 

5. Using Online Survey toolsExample of an online survey tool

Online Survey tools reduce the gap between how businesses think and what consumers need. These are effective ways of getting the right feedback without being biased and under your control. Survey tools like Google forms, SurveyMonkey, and Crowdsignal not only allow businesses to engage directly with their customers but also provide useful insights about their products and services.

6. Automate the review processExample of an automated review e-mail

Automating the review process can streamline and ease the process. It makes the process consistent and encourages customers to submit their opinions. Various ways to automate the review request process include pop-up forms, automated follow-up emails, and customer feedback request emails that appear after a customer purchases on your website. Automating the review requests also ensures continuity and a lesser chance of missing out even in the busiest periods of your business.

7. Being on the review platformsA Collage of review sites

Review sites like G2, BaazarVoice, Yelp, Facebook, Google reviews, and more are significant sources of getting reviews from customers. Some of the top review sites for eCommerce brands is listed in our blog. These sites ensure reviews are verified and publicly available. These are great marketing tools that allow you to bring in more traffic and leads to your business. Using review platforms is one of the most effective ways to gain from customers. 

8. Using feedback boxesExample of a feedback box

Customers tend to skip writing reviews because of time and strain constraints. However, providing them the option to write reviews while they are on the page using feedback boxes can make them leave a review. Feedback boxes are nothing but small question boxes that are placed on the visible area of the page. This way a consumer can spend a minute and write their feedback on the product.

9. Ask for the reviews at the right timeRight time for asking for a review

Customers typically write reviews when they are either absolutely satisfied or dissatisfied with the product they received. And for it to happen, customers need time, and therefore asking review too soon or too late won’t be effective. Ensure to give your customers adequate time to experience your product or service. This can increase the possibility of a consumer leaving a review. Therefore understanding your customer and asking for their reviews at the right time is crucial which can eventually lead to more reviews.

10. Communicate the importance of their reviewCommunicate the importance of reviews

It’s important to educate your customers on how important reviews are to your business. Open communication with your customers will increase the likelihood of leaving a positive review. This will not only help the business but also encourage fellow consumers to do the same.

Wrapping Up

Reviews and ratings are measures of how efficient and trustworthy your brand is. Cumulating feedback on customer experience is a great way to continue to improve the brand experience in the eCommerce industry.  Tagalys’ eCommerce merchandising solutions enable you to utilize the insights from the reviews to display relevant products for your online store. To know more about our solutions and features, get in touch with us now.