Ecommerce Expertise / Ecommerce Marketing / How To Sell Online

10 ways to increase and improve your customer reviews

/ 3 min read

Testimonials  and product reviews can be one of your greatest sales tools. Over 70% of consumers say they look at product reviews before making a purchase and nearly 63% indicate they are more likely to buy from a site that has product ratings and reviews. Social proof can reassure hesitant shoppers, provide additional context and reduce returns by ensuring buyers are satisfied with their purchase.

Ready to instill trust in your business, create meaningful social proof and build your brand love? Here are 10 tips to help you go above and beyond with product reviews and customer testimonials.

  1. Put your reviews front and center. Consider placing a couple reviews right on your homepage. If you have reviews for specific items, publish them on each product page. You can even add an entirely new page dedicated to housing awesome testimonials with a link in your top nav. Just make sure you get them on your site in a way that works for your product. We love how Primal Pit Paste shows off their raving fans on a special section of their website.

    primal pit paste review

  2. Get on the same sites as your customers. Being social and accessible is the best way to get honest feedback. Make your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts easily accessible from your store so customers can reach out with comments and questions. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, like Milk + Honey Spa, you’ll also want to have a profile on Yelp and Google Places.

    milk honey spa yelp

  3. Follow up with buyers. Consider sending an email to customers after they make a purchase. You’re most likely to get a review when the purchase is still top of mind. Check out Bigcommerce app partner Yotpo to automate this process, which makes it easy for you but more importantly makes it easy for your customers. Remove as much friction as possible between your request and their ability to submit a review.

  4. Ask the right questions. To do this, you need to know the type of answers you want before you start asking for them. What is your target audience interested in? What are their biggest concerns when making a purchase? What are pain points in your industry? Aligning with these questions will help you get meaningful and relevant testimonials.

  5. Contact those who leave you glowing reviews. If you notice a glowing review on Yelp or a pretty tagged pic on Instagram, say thanks! Man Crates does a great job of following up and socializing their positive reviews. You can also ask for permission to share their shoutout on your site or social media channels.

    man crates valentines share

  6. Contact those who leave you negative reviews. Ignoring these won’t make them go away. Try to respond to negative reviews, especially if you think the reviewer is justified in their complaint or other customers have complained about the same issue. Take this opportunity to learn from your clients and improve your business.

  7. Run a contest. This is an effective way to market your business with a little help from your current customers. We shared some social contest ideas in our recent post on social promotions that can impact your bottom line, but keeping things simple is always a good idea. Ask customers to add a hashtag on Instagram or post a quick note on your Facebook page. Lensbaby regularly runs Facebook contests asking fans to submit photos, like the heart bokeh image at the top of this post, that show off what their unique lenses can do.

    lensbaby valentine contest

  8. Reward those who review. For example, you could provide every client who gives you a review a 10% off coupon. And you don’t even need to let them know this is coming their way. The surprise factor will add an extra bit of “wow” to their experience.

  9. Include the customer’s name and picture when you post the testimonial. This can be a nice way to thank your customers, and it also adds a level of credibility to their review. Consider adding the source of the review, like Yelp, to encourage other customers to send in their own feedback.

  10. Give your customers a reason to review you. It may be something as simple as writing a personalized thank you note, but that gesture will go a long way in making your customers feel warm and fuzzy. Delush Polish does such a great job at going the extra mile that customers actually share the packaging on Instagram.

delush polish review 1

Do you have your own tips for improving and increasing customer testimonials? Share your advice in the comments, we’d love to hear about it!

Feature image by Mark Mathosian on Flickr

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  • Akhilesh

    I want to improve review our product. can u give me suggestion 1

  • There are two types of review – those for specific products and those for your ecommerce shop/service overall. We use the BigCommerce built-in reviews for products and ShopperApproved for our overall service. This latter service was chosen because it’s entirely independent of us and helps with our Google AdWords visibility (we get a star rating under our ads). It’s also very good value compared with other services.

  • Jessica Malnik

    @lzharvey:disqus: If you are using our built-in reviews, the only way you can “reply” is to create a new review just under it.

    Now for true review replies, I would recommend using either Disqus or Yotpo instead. Both are free and easy to integrate into your store. :)

  • lzharvey

    Julie, can you or someone from BigCommerce reply to Lacey’s question regarding the ability to reply to a review in BigCommerce? To counter reply to a negative review for example.

  • Can you reply to a review in Bigcommerce? I searched for a way, but no luck. Should I use another service for that feature?

  • Great article, but I did not set up reviews as all my items are one of a kind antique etc and when it is sold it is removed is there a way to set up reviews for the store or web site? Any suggestions?

  • Great feedback Mohare, thank you for sharing!

  • mohare

    Great post, Megan. We share many of these tips with enterprise software vendors to help them drive high-quality reviews on our site, G2Crowd.com. We’ve seen contests and rewards work well for vendors, but as Anupam and Julie pointed out, remaining authentic and transparent is important to ensuring that the reviews are trusted and truly representative of the customer experience. Reviews like these are both a great way for customers to share their feedback and an invaluable resource for vendors.

  • absolutely! the goodies should always be post the review more as a thank you gesture for the review, and not as an enticement for a good review. the moment you start doing it the other way round it loses its credibility.

  • Good points Anupam, faking testimonials are never worth it! Even if you have to give away a couple products to bloggers or friends, it’s worth it to get real reviews. In addition to sounding genuine, they could give you invaluable feedback for perfecting your product and even improving your shopping experience.

  • Megan, nice tips. couldn’t agree more that customer reviews and testimonials are definitely on the top when it comes to helping businesses to sell more. expanding more on your #9 need for name and picture for testimonials, you might be interested to see my recent post on why it is important – http://customertestimonials.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/best-practices-fake-it-till-you-make-it-does-not-apply-here

  • BizYantra

    Great article!

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