The more reviews, the better! They help SEO, they help customers make buying decisions and they are key to the success of e-commerce sites.
It’s this simple: without reviews on your e-commerce site, you’re doomed. Online shoppers are hungry for social proof and if they don’t see any, they’ll be sure to bounce out of your site and check in with one of your competitors.
That’s how you lose market share.
According to eConsultancy, 61 percent of virtual shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. About that many (63 percent) are more likely to make a purchase if they see reviews.
Consumers who browse reviews are pretty savvy, too. More than two-thirds of e-tail customers (68%) trust reviews more when they see both good and bad reviews. Thirty percent believe that the reviews are faked or censored if they don’t see anything negative.
According to yet another survey, 85 percent of online shoppers are content once they’ve read about 10 reviews for a product. That means your site needs a lot of reviews.
Okay. So how do you get them?
Here are a few ideas.
It’s astonishing how often the best answer is also the most obvious. If you want people to review your products, why not ask them?
If you’ve ever bought anything on eBay, you’ve probably received a follow-up email shortly afterwards asking you to review it. Did you consider that email spam or a nuisance? Probably not, and neither will your customers.
When people order your products online, be sure to snag their email address. Then, for each customer, follow the shipping route. A couple of days after the product has been delivered, send the customer an email with a subject line that gets right to the point (something like: “Tell us how you like xxx” should do the trick). Provide a link in that email so that the user can immediately get to the review page (bonus points if the URL you send contains some kind of code so the user doesn’t have to login). That makes it very simple for the customer to leave on honest review.
Include a Note With the Product
When you ship your product, include a note that encourages the customer to leave a review. Be sure to get creative with this idea and do some split testing.
A note that that says something like: “Our goal is for 100% customer satisfaction, please let us know how we’re doing.” Then, include a link that is very easy to type so that the user can go straight to a place where he or she can leave a review. Pro-tip: buy a small .co domain (your-review.co is available as of this writing) that redirects the customer to the review section of your e-commerce site.
Offer Free Products for an Honest Review
For starters, please note the word “honest” in the sub-header above. You absolutely do not want to bribe people in exchange for positive reviews.
Secondly, remember that you’re offering products in exchange for honest reviews and not cash. If you buy reviews, you risk losing your reputation as an ethical dealer.
With that in mind, feel free to offer a free product that’s meant to cost the recipient nothing except an honest review. It will cost you some money, but it’s an investment that will keep your business alive.
Find People Who Are Willing to Review Your Product
You might think that it’s difficult to locate people who are willing to review your product, but in this Information Age, it’s actually pretty easy.
Find competing products on Amazon. If nothing exists that directly competes with your product, then get as close as possible.
Then, browse down to the review section on Amazon and find the people who didn’t like the product. Why? Because people who didn’t like a competing product are likely going to be receptive to getting something “that works” for free. Sometimes, those reviewers will provide their email address on their profile page. Use that email address to reach out to the reviewer and offer a free product in exchange for a review.
Reach out to Amazon Top Reviewers
Some people really love to review products. Maybe they’re retirees who don’t have a whole lot of responsibilities or they’re people who just like to get attention as a top reviewer. In any case, those types of people are prime candidates to review your product.
Fortunately, Amazon makes it exceptionally easy to find top reviewers.
Find Bloggers in Your Niche Who Review Products
Whatever your niche, it’s likely that there are bloggers out there somewhere who specializes in reviewing products related to it. To find them, it’s usually best to Google the name of the product and follow it with the word “review”. Visit those bloggers and send them an email offering a free product in exchange for an honest review.
Find Twitter Reviewers
Thanks to Twitter’s advanced search functionality, you can find people who are reviewing products in your niche. Put the name of the product in the “any of these words” field. Then, in the “hashtags” field, type in “productreviews” or “amazonreview”.
That should return a list of people who are reviewing products. Send out a tweet to those people asking them if they’d be interested in reviewing your product.
Find Reviewers on LinkedIn
An especially effective way to find reviewers, especially if you’re in the B2B space, is to look for them on LinkedIn.
Just visit LinkedIn and locate the search bar at the very top of the page. In that bar, type in the name of the product followed by the word “review”. However, there’s a little more involved here. After you click the magnifying glass, you’ll need to make an adjustment. You don’t want to see people’s profiles included in the search results or other information that isn’t going to give you what you’re looking for. So, filter your search down to “Posts” in the left-hand sidebar.
The final results should show you some posts of people who’ve reviewed the products. Get in touch with those people using InMail and make the usual product-for-review offer.
Use a Legitimate Review Service
Site like Honest Society exist so that people can leave reviews in exchange for free products. Get involved with websites like that so you can get some honest reviews for your product.
Be advised, though, that there are shady operations out there that are meant to do nothing but provide positive or fake reviews. Avoid associating yourself with those sites.
Wrapping It Up
Your e-commerce site doesn’t stand a chance without a portfolio of reviews. Make sure that you take steps to secure reviews for your product if your customers aren’t leaving feedback on their own.