When showcased effectively, reviews can cause your eCommerce store to rise above the competition. Here's how.
In previous chapters, we've explored the incredible potential of reviews, and why it's so important to generate them: in short, having customer feedback makes your products and your brand more trustworthy. It's valuable social proof that factors into the purchasing decisions of the vast majority of online shoppers, and when it's showcased effectively, reviews can cause your eCommerce store to rise above the competition.
In the last chapter, we talked about the first half of the product reviews equation — how to get more of them. Now, we're covering the second half. Once you have a consistent stream of reviews coming in, how can you best leverage them on your website to experience the full benefits of a great review management strategy?
How to Showcase Your Reviews
Success in review management hinges on being able to display reviews the right way. Showing your site visitors the right reviews at the right time has a critical impact on their decision making. Here's an example that we hope drives the point home about the importance of how and where you showcase reviews on your eCommerce website:
Imagine that last week, you got five new reviews for a certain product. That's a sign that your review generation strategy is working effectively.
But, all the reviews that you generate for any of your products are only posted on a dedicated "reviews" page of your website.
In this case, a person looking for that product may not see new reviews for it when they look at the product page on your website. And, even if they visit your "reviews" page, they may not find the product-specific feedback they're looking for.
Deciding Which Tools To Use
Before we go into how and where your reviews should be displayed on your website, let's zoom out a little and talk about your options in terms of the tools you can use to showcase your reviews.
In previous chapters, we went in-depth into some of the more widely used eCommerce sites, and discussed the different options to enable reviews to be added to each. In each, we assessed that the native options for eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce are fairly limited, and anyone who wants to do more than the bare minimum with their review management should consider looking at a third-party app like Stamped.io.
Here, the decision is similar. If you're looking for a way to add text reviews to your product pages, the retail platform you're using can probably get you there.
If you're looking at seamlessly adding displays to showcase different types of reviews in multiple areas of your site, however, you may find the options available to you in the eCommerce platform you're using to be insufficient. This is where user-friendly software like Stamped can give you options to add reviews in a variety of different locations. The alternative means having to code something on your site from scratch, something most eCommerce entrepreneurs don't have the time or the technical proficiency for.
The Best Places to Showcase Reviews on your site
With this in mind, read on for some of the ways you can choose to showcase product reviews on your eCommerce Store.
1. On the Home Page
Showcasing your reviews on the home page of your site is a good idea. Unless they click on an ad that takes them to a campaign landing page or a specific product page, this will be your opportunity to give your site visitors a first impression of your brand.
That means it's business reviews, not product reviews that should be highlighted here (for a refresher on why this is an important difference, refer to Chapter 2 of this guide). You want to give site visitors an idea of how trustworthy you are based on the opinions of people who have done business with you in the past. Showing this prominently is important, provided that you have good reviews or a high star rating.
This is something an eCommerce platform may allow you to do, but you may have to update the reviews that display here manually. With a third-party app like Stamped, you can easily add new reviews to your home page as they come in.
2. On Your "About" Page
Another place where you can leverage reviews of your business to build trust is on the "About page." If a site visitor is navigating here, they're doing so to learn more about who you are and what it's like to work with you. Most people who make the effort to read what's on a dedicated page about your brand are at least considering giving you their business, so it's important that if you have good reviews, you use them here.
An "About" page — or a home page for that matter — isn't just limited to business reviews, though. A selection of top product feedback can communicate to prospective buyers that your brand is known for high-quality products that get customers excited.
3. On a Dedicated Page for Reviews
In the example we used to illustrate why putting your reviews in the right place is so important, we used having a dedicated reviews page as a negative. To clarify, it's not inherently bad to have a reviews page, but if this is the only page where your reviews appear, you should take a moment to consider the utility of this choice.
If you do have a dedicated reviews page, you can feature reviews on your brand or business, or organize it into sections that are easily navigable by product. At the end of the day, there are some creative ways you can leverage a reviews-specific page on your site, but you should plan to display these reviews elsewhere at the same time.
Using an app like Stamped can give you the options you need to create an organize a reviews page that leverages valuable social proof in the optimal way.
4. Product Pages: Widgets to Embed Reviews
A popular way to showcase reviews on any page on your site is with the use of a widget, a block of content that you can use practically anywhere on your domain to customize the way it appears to your visitors.
On most platforms, installing a widget is as simple as inserting a short line of code onto the page where you want it to appear. Here are a few examples:
On product pages: Many people use widgets to show that users trust their products. This can be done using a badge, an icon to denote a high star-rating, or a selection of the product reviews themselves. Stamped review widgets give you full customization over how your reviews are displayed and sorted by consumers when they're on your page, allowing you to insert their value naturally into the sales process.
On category pages: Shoppers often navigate eCommerce websites by narrowing down from a broader category, so making sure your category pages display a star-rating for products within that category is a great way to start building trust early in the decision-making process.
Anywhere else on your site: Using an app like Stamped, there's no shortage of customization options. Anything from a simple star rating icon on a sticky sidebar to an image gallery that pulls user-generated content directly from Instagram — there's a Stamped widget for it.
5. On Transactional Pages (Check Out/Shopping Cart Display Pages, Etc.)
Some eCommerce entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that the sales process ends when a customer moves onto the checkout page. Unfortunately, this thinking may prove to be a costly error. In fact, customers who make it to the check out screen before dropping out is a huge problem for online retailers of all sizes. If you're using one of the top eCommerce platforms, you may already have an automated "abandoned cart" campaign in place to bring back shoppers who didn't finish their purchase.
Most eCommerce platforms' native review functions don't give you the option to put something on these types of pages — shopping carts and payment screens, for example — which is a missed opportunity. Third-party apps like Stamped are unique in that they enable you to showcase reviews on these pages, increasing conversions and reducing drop off at this point.
How to Showcase Reviews in Other Places Online
While you'll naturally want to focus on your own site first, there are other places around the internet you can showcase reviews of your products and your brand.
Google Reviews Snippets
We talked in a previous chapter about Google's Merchant Center and seller ratings. Here's where you can cash in on building goodwill there. By enabling review snippets, your seller rating will be displayed in search results and Shopping ads, announcing your positive reputation to anyone who comes across your store in a search.
Sharing Reviews in Social Media Posts in Marketing Campaigns
When you have a good reputation, it's not enough to just show it on your website — you want to broadcast it to the world! Stamped makes it easier than ever to do just that. With new Smart Banners, you can easily create graphics using your product and business reviews that are perfect for social media posts, banner ads, and email campaigns.