Acquiring product testimonials/reviews is an incredibly effective marketing strategy for any Ecommerce store. Sadly, many businesses pass up numerous opportunities to gain reviews simply because more effort is placed on other strategies such as web design and/or SEO and social media.
What businesses may not realize is that reviews can also affect SEO and social media strategies. Fresh content is valued by the search engines and reviews can increase your chance of being found for keyword phrases containing consumer adjectives such as “books good for mothers” or “jeans great for kids”, etc. Reviews also encourage communication and sharing on social sites.
What are other benefits of product reviews?
- Reviews often give customers more insight into a product beyond its description. The private stories of people who have had the opportunity to use your product can be priceless to other customers.
- If you sell an item that is sold in many other ecommerce stores, a higher number of reviews will help you edge out your competitors because consumers often associate a high number of reviews with a popular product.
- The presence of reviews is also associated with a trusted brand. According to consumer surveys, shoppers prefer sites with more reviews, even negative ones, because it makes the somewhat “shady” process of buying on the internet a real acquisition.
- Even negative reviews can benefit a business. With 100% positive reviews, consumers may feel that the reviews are fake since nearly every product has at least a few negative reactions.
Though acquiring fresh reviews can be difficult, it is not impossible as long as you adhere to a few marketing tips:
A post-purchase email is one of the most effective methods for boosting consumer reviews. Send emails to recipients once they receive the product and include a request to write a review. The current holiday season is a great time to capitalize on fresh reviews.
Following the holidays, craft a welcoming message asking customers to write reviews on the products they or their loved ones received for the holidays. Include an image and description of the product as well to refresh their memory.
Also, mention how your customers’ help will assist other consumers to make informed decisions and improve your products so you can continue to satisfy your cherished customers.
If you are looking for an easy, automated solution to send follow up emails with the purpose of getting reviews, Mailbeez comes highly recommended. Mailbeez has a few different plugins which promote reviews on Zen Cart websites by automatically sending emails to customers after an order has been placed. They also have a plugin which gives a reward using the Store Credit module when a review is offered.
Are Incentives Worth It?
Incentivizing reviews can be a good idea; however, the risk of receiving fake reviews is high. Your goal is to gain authentic reviews that will help future customers. If you really want to give something away for a review, consider a contest and split test both methods (incentivized vs. non-incentivized) to determine which one produces the most authentic reviews.
Consider removing any registration requirements for user reviews. At the least, a name and email address will suffice.
If you have ever received a kind word about your products whether through email, a Facebook post, a tweet or a phone call, consider asking the giver to write a review for you. People who value your products are your best advertisement. Capitalize on the opportunity.
Many business owners are bashful to request reviews. If this sounds like you, be natural and share with your customers that you are looking to improve your products and you need their input. Be candid and honest and you should receive an honest response.