How to Use Customer Reviews on your Ecommerce Site

The Importance of Having Ecommerce Customer Reviews on Your Site

Shoppers today count on reviews to trust new brands and their products. Ecommerce customer reviews offer extra safety for shoppers. They help avoid scams and poor-quality products. Fortunately, making an Ecommerce site quickly is easily accomplished.

This post discusses how to create and use Ecommerce customer reviews on your site. It shows ways to collect, manage, and make the most of these reviews. Implementing these strategies builds trust and improves your business.

Covering the Basics: Getting a Product Review App Installed

If you’re starting from zero or currently have a bad system in place to collect reviews, a simple product review app can help you collect and display reviews in a professional manner. See below some free and paid options that may be useful if you have a Shopify or Bigcommerce store:

  • Reviews by Shopify. It’s free and offers basic features to collect reviews and design a product review area.
  • Yotpo. They have a free and a paid version available for Shopify and Bigcommerce. The free version includes basic features plus social integration, review of email requests, and moderation. Their paid version includes cool features like shoppable Instagram, rich snippets and coupons.
  • Free and paid versions are available. It has similar features to Yotpo, but it can integrate with many other Shopify apps.
  • TrustPilot. The app is free, and can be integrated with Shopify and Bigcommerce. I love this app because it showcases reviews from a trustworthy third-party site.
App NamePlatformCostFeaturesIntegration
Reviews by ShopifyShopify, BigcommerceFree- Collect reviews- Design product review area- Basic features for review managementIntegrated with Shopify
YotpoShopify, BigcommerceFree and PaidFree Version:- Social integration- Review email requests- Moderation Paid Version: Shoppable Instagram- Rich snippets- CouponsIntegrated with Shopify and Bigcommerce
Judge.meShopifyFree and Paid- Similar features to Yotpo- Integration with many other Shopify appsIntegrated with Shopify
TrustPilotShopify, BigcommerceFree- Showcases reviews from a trustworthy third-party site- Basic review management featuresIntegrated with Shopify and Bigcommerce

Creating a Strategy: Segmenting Customers and Orders

Now that you have a place to properly collect and display reviews, it’s time to encourage customers to leave reviews. Asking is key. Most customers will not leave a review unless you remind them to do so. Thus, you have to take a proactive approach to create a product review system that actually works.

Connect your Store with an Email Marketing Platform

To request reviews, you’ll need to connect your store to an email marketing platform like MailChimp to send email requests. Start by saving your customer’s information in an email list. This list should be different from the one you use to collect emails for newsletters.

One customer can be part of both lists, but make sure you differentiate your paying customers from the ones that just registered for an email newsletter.

Segment your Customer List

The keys to getting the highest amount of responses are timeliness and customer order segmentation. Your requests have to be sent soon enough after your customers get their packages, while their memories are fresh and they are excited about the products.

If your request is sent too late, the excitement about the products may have passed, or they may not even remember their experiences. If the request is too soon, customers may not have gotten their orders yet to be able to leave a review.

I like to set up my review email requests to be sent about 2-3 weeks after a customer makes a purchase. This timeframe allows for a couple of weeks of shipping and about a week to try the product. The right time will vary slightly, depending on the products you’re selling. For instance, if you’re selling beauty products, your customers may need a longer amount of time to test the product results.

Besides timeliness, you’ll want to segment your customer list to distinguish the customers with repeat or high order values from the lower order value customers. Your high-spenders and recurrent customers will be more likely to leave a review. Also, you’ll want to tailor your message accordingly to provide the right incentive to the right customer.

MailChimp offers many pre-built and custom segmentations to do this. All you need to do is create a logic, like the one below, to create that segment.

The Importance of Having Ecommerce Customer Reviews on Your Site

Sending Email Requests

Now that you have your list of customers segmented and ready to go, it’s time to set up your emails. Once again, automation is the key to creating an email system that runs smoothly, without requiring much manual effort. Also, as we mentioned before, it’s important to customize your message according to the user contacted. This will increase your conversion rates.

The Importance of Having Ecommerce Customer Reviews on Your Site

For my high-spender segment, I like to send personal notes that don’t look like mass emails. Usually, this type of email would just contain text and my signature. The button call to action is replaced with text and a link.

I would recommend A/B testing personal types of emails with more branded ones, to discover which one performs best. Whichever type of email you choose, it’s important to keep certain elements for best practices:

  • Send a thank you introduction. Thank the customer for his or her purchase; it makes the customer feel valued.
  • Express the value of their review contribution.
  • Ask them for their review.
  • Provide an incentive to leave a review. Offer a discount code or a free gift.

The Importance of Having Ecommerce Customer Reviews on Your Site

Measuring Performance and Optimizing Accordingly

Getting a product review is the final goal, but there are many micro-goals that can be accomplished on your way to achieving the final goal. For instance, I focus on improving the open rate and click-through rate. The more people open my email request, the higher chance I’ll have to gain a click and, eventually, a conversion.

See below a list of important metrics and how to improve them:

  • Open rate — Improve your subject line.
  • Click-through rate — Enhance copy or provide a more enticing incentive.
  • Low completion rate (leaving feedback) — Are you linking directly to the products purchased? Is your review system easy to use?

Now, over to you. What has been your experience with customer reviews? Have you tried any of the tactics in this post? Comment below!

The Importance of Ecommerce Customer Reviews

Reviews aren’t just for new Ecommerce sites—they’re vital for established brands, too. They assure customers about the quality of products beyond the brand’s reputation.

For instance, a shopper might trust a brand but still need reassurance about a product’s fit, quality, and suitability for their needs. This is where customer reviews come in. They provide real, unbiased feedback – almost like a personal recommendation.

As a specific example, if a consumer is looking to buy a dress, she would want to make sure it is the right fit for her body type, the quality she is looking for or the right style. Even if they trust the brand and the site offers a thorough product description, there is nothing like a good review. It provides unbiased feedback. It’s like getting a recommendation from a friend or family relative. In fact, research shows that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Therefore, every Ecommerce site, whether new or established, needs to have product reviews to provide a good shopping experience. If you don’t have product reviews, shoppers will try to find them through other sources. Thus, it’s best to compile them where the reviews can be monitored and optimized: on your own site.

Main Takeaways: Maximizing Ecommerce with Customer Reviews

As you can see, adding customer reviews to your site plays a pivotal role in shaping your brand’s success. To recap and refine your strategy, here are key insights on how these reviews influence and enhance Ecommerce businesses.

Building Trust and Enhancing Decision-Making

Customer reviews are fundamental in establishing trust and aiding decision-making for online shoppers. They offer genuine user experiences, providing a level of authenticity that surpasses traditional marketing. This is crucial for both new and established brands, as positive reviews can significantly elevate their reputation and consumer confidence.

Vital Across All Stages of Ecommerce

Regardless of whether an site is in its initial stages or well-established, incorporating customer reviews is key. These reviews not only enrich the shopping experience but also serve as a trust indicator for potential buyers. Hosting reviews on your site turns it into a comprehensive information hub, fostering transparency and community engagement.

Effective Collection and Management Strategies

A strategic approach to collecting and managing reviews can profoundly influence their impact on your business. Using product review apps and email marketing platforms facilitates active feedback collection. Strategies like timely review requests and customer segmentation based on purchasing history enhance response rates, while personalized communication makes customers feel valued and more inclined to provide reviews.

Continuous Improvement for Optimal Results

Monitoring and analyzing key metrics like email open rates and click-through rates is vital for refining your review strategy. This ongoing optimization process leads to better customer engagement and more effective communication, resulting in a higher quantity and quality of reviews. These improvements directly contribute to business growth and customer satisfaction.

To sum up, integrating customer reviews into your Ecommerce business is crucial for its success. They are a powerful tool in building trust, boosting conversions, and driving overall growth. By fully embracing customer reviews, your Ecommerce venture can achieve greater heights, becoming more customer-focused and resilient.

Image via: Shutterstock

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Ronald Dod Ronald Dod is the Founder and Owner of Visiture, an internet marketing agency that focuses on Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click management for eCommerce businesses. Ronald holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.