If you could do one thing to boost your conversions, what should it be? Hands down, add customer ratings and reviews to your site. Those who have done it report that conversions jumped 20% to 30% — some as much as 100%.
Benefits don’t stop there. Average order sizes typically increase by similar percentages. Customer loyalty improves. Product or service problems become easy to identify and correct.
What’s more, customer reviews can help your search engine rankings, thereby increasing your site traffic. All in all, the competitive advantages of including customer reviews are tremendous.
Getting Started. Offering the ability to include reviews is fairly simple for most programmers. Once that’s done, then what?
People tend to mistrust sites that include only a few reviews, so it’s important to build the number of reviews as quickly as possible. Aim for a minimum of three to five reviews on 20% of your products.
Ask for reviews at every opportunity – on your web site, in emailings, in your catalog, and in outgoing shipments. Offering an incentive to people who post reviews – good or bad – will help generate more reviews much faster.
Naturally, recent buyers are among the best sources of reviews. Use an auto-responder to email customers a few weeks after they receive their product to invite them to review it. Customers love to give their opinions, and will be thrilled to know you cared enough to ask for it.
Best Practices. To get the most from your customer reviews, consider some of these Best Practices:
- Make Them Visible. Be sure your reviews appear above the fold.
- Include Negative Reviews. Filter out any that include profanity or are completely off-subject. Allow the others. Interestingly, Don Zeidler, Direct Marketing Director at Burpee, reports that their second-best-selling tomato consistently gets mediocre reviews – yet sales fall when the reviews are removed.
- Rate Specific Attributes. Break down your ratings into specific product attributes, such as performance, ease of use, and clarity of instructions.
- Represent Results Visually. Make results easy to grasp with a visual representation, such as a 5-star system.
- Include Reviewer Profiles. Ask reviewers for pertinent information, such as what type of gardening they do, how experienced they are, and where they live.
- Ask for Photos. By asking for photos along with the reviews, one company boosted conversions by additional 5.6%.
Once you have reviews, make good use of them. Add them to your catalog and emailings. After testing emails with and without customer reviews, one company discovered that using the reviews in emailings increased click-through rates by 14% and total income by 42%. With numbers like that, what are you waiting for?
With numbers like that, what are you waiting for?