5 Ways Customer Reviews Benefit eCommerce Conversion Rates
Why pay an arm and a leg to attract more customers to your site when most sites are not taking advantage of the existing traffic they have. The average cart abandonment rate is about 68%, and the average conversion rate is somewhere in the the 1% – 3% range (maybe even lower). This means there are a lot of potential dollars to be obtained by leveraging what you already have.
But what is the best way to encourage more of your site visitors to ultimately make a purchase? There are many ways, but one of the easiest is with customer reviews. Customer reviews provide a ton of benefits that help boost your ecommerce sites conversion rates.
How Customer Reviews Benefit Conversion Rates:
1. Reviews create credibility for your products and site
When customers first come to your site they are looking for ways to establish that you are a credible business. Customer reviews are one of the best ways for ecommerce sites to establish credibility.
When assessing a site, we want to know what others have thought of the products they sell and the service provided. That is where customer reviews come in, they are an indicator that other people have shopped on the site and enjoyed their purchase.
The best way to establish credibility for your ecommerce site is to have an existing customer refer a friend. The problem is that referrals are a more involved process than simply reading a review. Fortunately, 79% of customers trust a customer review as much as a personal review.
This means that every time a customer leaves a review for a product it is like they are giving a personal referral to about 80% of those that view that product page. When a customer trusts your ecommerce site they are more likely to buy, which increases your conversion rates.
2. Feedback means you can have better product offerings
Customer reviews are not only good for future shoppers, they are good for you as well. Customer reviews give you direct feedback as to what customers think of individual products.
If a product is getting a bunch of positive feedback you can move it to a feature page or to the front page of your product catalog. This ensures that your popular items are getting maximum exposure and more people can find it.
If a product is getting negative reviews, you can address the problem or just remove it from your product offerings. Customer reviews provide valuable feedback about your products that you can use to help boost site conversion.
3. Customer reviews can improve SEO
Search engines love dynamic content that is updated frequently. Customer reviews are an easy way to make static product pages more dynamic and if customers are leaving reviews regularly your page will be updated frequently.
One study found that adding customer reviews to their ecommerce site resulted in a 31% increase in the amount of organic traffic to that page. This increase in organic traffic from reviews is a result of the layman explanation I have given above. If you would like a more indepth explanation I would read “5 SEO Benefits of User Reviews”.
With stronger SEO on your product pages you will be getting better more related traffic coming to your site looking for a specific product. When customers are coming to your ecommerce site with a product in mind they will be much more likely to convert.
4. Reviews establish consensus
Contrary to popular belief we do not always want to be unique. Countless amounts of research have been conducted into a phenomenon known as consensus.
Consensus is the idea that the human race prefers to act or behave in a way that is inline with the rest of the human population. Consensus is part of the 6 principles of persuasion which can help create effective online marketing for ecommerce.
Customer reviews show that others have bought the product in the past. According to the consensus principle, just knowing that others have bought the product in the past is enough to influence our decision. If others have bought before, new shopper conversions will go up.
5. Customer reviews are part of the decision process
Information is readily available at the click of a button, we can easily find information on any product we are considering buying. The ease at which we can find information has made customer reviews part of the online buying decision for most shoppers.
An overwhelming 90% of shoppers say that customer reviews have an impact on the purchase of a product. These reviews are an even bigger part of higher ticket purchases such as electronics, 40% of shoppers say they will not buy electronics without first reading a review.
Reviews have become a part of the research shoppers do prior to making a purchase. If you give shoppers the information they need to complete this part of the buying process on the product page , they will be more likely to convert. Don’t make shoppers leave your site to find the customer reviews they are looking for.
Getting More eCommerce Customer Reviews
With all those benefits it may seem like customer reviews are too good to be true. There is a small catch with reviews, they are difficult to get. You are asking a customer to take the time to do something for you without returning the favor.
When you rely on naturally growing reviews you will often be left with either, not enough reviews, or mostly negative reviews. Instead help grow “good” customer reviews with the help of some ecommerce tools.
Ask purchasers to leave a review
One way to get customers to leave a review is to just ask them. This however is easier said than done. You need to have a way to schedule automatic emails, and have a user friendly way to leave a review (not usually the case for most ecommerce platforms).
Fortunately there is an existing tool that does all that for you, it is know as Yotpo. Yotpo is a tool that helps you generate more and better quality reviews. More reviews come from the user friendly review interface and the ability to automatically email purchasers asking for a review.
Lots of reviews isn’t always the answer, they need to be high quality ones to really be effective. That is why Yotpo gives more information on the user leaving the review. This includes pictures, how you are connected, their review statistics, and much more. Yotpo is a great way to add credibility to your reviews.
Reward for customer reviews
Another way to encourage customer reviews is to reward them for leaving one. That way it is a win for the shopper as well. The problem for rewarding a review is that an ecommerce merchant is usually not willing to pay much for an individual review, maybe 0.05 cents.
The solution for that is to include reviews as part of an overall rewards points system. Instead of offering a 0.05 cent discount, you can reward the customer points that they can later redeem for a discount or other cool prizes.
A loyalty/rewards program allows you to give a reward that is seen as more substantial in the eyes of the customer. No one is going to be motivated by 0.05 cents, but they will be motivated to earn 50 points. Rewarding for reviews is an easy and effective way to get more customer reviews.
A couple of Sweet Tooth clients have seen amazing success with this tactic. Philip Kingsley saw a 250% increase in reviews when they started to reward points, and Kinderbuch.eu saw 2,500% growth in reviews.
Philip Kingsley saw a 250% increase in reviews with a loyalty program!