7 Pitfalls To Avoid Like The Plague When Collecting & Using Customer Reviews
Consider this: almost 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, and displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by up to 270%. With numbers such as these, it’s crystal-clear that customer reviews are an important part of every eCommerce store owner’s strategy.
But here’s the thing… not all reviews are equally effective in convincing your customers to complete their purchase. In this article, we share several tips and tricks to help you collect and use customer reviews more effectively, and tell you about the pitfalls you should avoid with your review strategy.
#1: Asking for a review during the wrong time
There’s a time and place for everything… including asking for reviews. For instance: you should not be asking for a review on your checkout page. The sole purpose of this page is to guide your customer to complete their purchase, and this means that the page should be as minimalist and pared-down as possible. You don’t want to have any unnecessary elements or Call To Actions (CTAs) that distract them from this goal.
That said, it’s perfectly fine to ask for a review once a shopper’s purchase has been confirmed. You can use our new Checkout Reviews feature to collect reviews in your order confirmation page, for example. Here’s what it’d look like:
Not to brag, but this micro-review system is pretty effective. We even have a customer, Plexusco.com, who’s seen a 300% increase in their number of reviews collected after implementing this new feature!
#2: Only asking for reviews via one channel
Most eCommerce store owners only rely on one channel to collect their product reviews – and that’s through email. Instead of limiting yourself to this one option, you should be asking your customers for reviews at other touchpoints as well.
We’ve just discussed how you can ask customers for reviews on their order confirmation page using Checkout Reviews, so there’s that. You can also experiment with getting your support staff to request for reviews from customers after assisting them with enquiries.
For instance, say your support rep has just solved a customer’s problem via a phone call or live chat. Your rep can then send them a link to review the product and/or support received. Make sure your rep emphasizes the low time commitment involved, by saying something along the lines of: It’ll just take a minute of your time, and you would really be helping us out.
You’ll be surprised at how many glowing reviews you’ll get from customers who are grateful that you’ve helped them with their problems. Try it out for yourself!
It's important to calibrate the review delay to your store's shipping speeds. For example, our customer BirdRock Baby increased the review delay from 10 days to 20 days while shipping carriers were overloaded during the COVID holiday season. This helps ensure that your customers won't receive review requests before their products arrive.
#3: Making the review process too troublesome
When you’re asking your customer for a review, you’re essentially asking them to do you a favor. Bearing this in mind, make sure you make the review process as easy and fuss-free as possible, and minimize any friction associated with leaving a review.
Customers love Facebook too! Our client Gold BJJ reports that Facebook Messenger open rates can be up to 5x those of e-mail campaigns.
Using our tool, for instance, you can send your shoppers custom forms and get them to review their products within their emails. These forms are quick and easy to fill out, and everything is done in-app. So much more convenient than having to click on a link, be redirected to a mobile site, log into an account, then write a review, don’t you think?
Now, you might be wondering: what if I want to collect longer, more in-depth reviews, or even video reviews? Since these require more effort on your customer’s part, you should sweeten the deal by offering them some sort of incentive.
The obvious thing to do is to offer your shopper a promo code for their next purchase (which you can do with Stamped.io’s tool), but feel free to get creative here. Other options include allowing your shopper access to a special Brand Advocate program that gives them early access to sales and other members-only specials.
#4: Being vague about what you’re looking for
If you request for reviews using vague prompts, such as:
- Did you like the item?
- Please share your feedback on the item.
- How did you like the product?
Then this means you’ll get vague, generic reviews. Unfortunately, this defeats the whole purpose of collecting reviews in the first place.
The goal is to move away from short, one-word reviews that don’t say much about your items, and collect more insightful reviews that help your potential buyers make a purchase decision. For example, you’ll want less of…
- “Cool product”
- “Two thumbs up”
- “LOVE this”.
And more reviews that actually talk about the reviewer’s experience with the item.
How do you do this? Simple – tweak the way you phrase your questions, and prompt your shoppers to give more details when reviewing. If you’re an apparel eCommerce store, for example, ask your shoppers to describe the fit and material of the item they purchased, as well as whether the color is true to the picture. If you’re selling probiotic supplements for gut health, ask your shoppers to talk about whether your supplements have improved their digestion.
Customer reviews aside, Stamped.io’s tool also comes with a Community Q&A feature that allows potential customers to ask past shoppers questions about a specific product.
Again, this gives your potential customers more information about a product, and helps them with their purchase decision.
#5: Only showcasing 100% positive reviews
Shoppers these days are increasingly savvy, and they’re always on the lookout for dodgy reviews and testimonials. According to research, a whopping 95% of consumers get suspicious of reviews being fake if these reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and don’t contain a single bad word about the product.
If you have a habit of hiding or deleting negative reviews, and only displaying your reviews that are positive, then it’s time to stop. Honesty is always the best policy, and showing your customers the good and the bad actually results in them trusting you more.
#6: Showcasing anonymous reviews
Shoppers are 15% more likely to make a purchase after reading a verified review (as opposed to an anonymous one.) Intuitively speaking, this makes sense.
Put yourself in your shoppers’ shoes: if you see a review by an anonymous user, you have no idea whether this person is actually legitimate, and it’ll be pretty hard for you to relate to it or trust the review. If a review is accompanied by a person’s name and picture, on the other hand, then it’s a lot easier for you to put your faith in it.
BONUS: If you allow your shoppers to upload their own pictures with their review, that’s even better. Some customers distrust the glossy, polished product pictures that eCommerce stores have on their websites, and prefer to look at pictures taken by other customers (which aren’t touched up, edited or filtered in any way).
#7: Only showcasing reviews on your website
Look, you’ve probably invested a lot of effort into fine-tuning your review strategy. So why would you only limit yourself to using these reviews on your website?
You should also be sharing your customer reviews on your social media channels; if you want to go a step further, you can even run ads with these reviews. Doing this manually can be pretty time-consuming, so we recommend using a tool such as Stamped.io to automate the process.
With Stamped.io, you’re able to automatically push your customer reviews to publish on your social media channels. On top of that, you can also use these reviews to create retargeting ads, which you’ll then serve to customers who abandoned their carts instead of making a purchase.
Think this is too much of a hassle? Well, maybe this will change your mind: the click-through rate (CTR) of a retargeted ad is, on average, 10 times higher than that of a display ad. On top of that, website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert into paying users.
If you want to increase your sales and revenue, but you’re working with a limited marketing budget, then you’ll definitely want to experiment with retargeting ads. The numbers don’t lie: retargeting is pretty much the most cost-effective way of acquiring customers!
A final word on collecting and using customer reviews
At the end of the day, customer reviews are highly effective because they provide a ton of social proof. Sure, you can wax lyrical about how amazingly made your product is, or how long it’ll last, but shoppers will always discount whatever you’re saying simply because you’re not an objective third-party. But when it’s your past customers who are doing the gushing, though, that’s another story.
If you want to grow your eCommerce store and take it to the next level, we recommend fine-tuning your customer review strategy, ASAP. The best part? Collecting and using reviews doesn’t have to be time-consuming or tedious – simply use a tool such as Stamped.io to automate and simplify the process.
More than 10,000 businesses use Stamped.io to generate customer reviews. Click here to sign up for a free account!