How and Why to Get Online Reviews

May 27, 2014


When you make a purchase online, do you check out the reviews? So do I. In fact, 70% of us consult reviews or ratings before purchasing. Here are some additional facts, according to research compiled by People Claim.

  • Customer reviews create a 74% increase in product conversion
  • 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews
  • After the search function, ratings and reviews are the second most important site feature

Ken Marion, Managing Partner at Green Virgin Products, a Tampa, FL-based online retailer of eco-friendly and healthy products (and ShipStation customer), says “customers, including wholesale accounts, have called and told us that they weren’t sure about our products, but decided to buy because of our online reviews.”

The value of online reviews is clear. One of the tricky parts, however, is actually getting (honest) positive reviews. Here are some ideas that can help:

  1. Send a follow-up e-mail asking for reviews. One great strategy for getting online reviews is to send an e-mail to a customer after purchase and ask him or her for a review. You’ll need to give customers enough time to use the product after it’s received, but not too long, or the customer may be less likely to want to provide feedback. Offer a direct link or quick link, to make the process as easy as possible. There are a lot of third-party applications that can do this, including those like MailChimp. Check with your shopping cart or marketplace to see with whom they integrate.
  2. Ask for reviews on your website. At Green Virgin Products, Website visitors who decide to check out a product’s reviews will see a red button to the right of the reviews, stating “Write a Review.” This is a feature available from some eCommerce software companies, including Bigcommerce, which is what Green Virgin Products uses. This feature sets the stage for potential customers to write a review, as well as reminds current customers who happen to be checking out the product reviews to also write a review.
  3. Offer (small) incentives. You need to be careful here. You don’t want to look like you’re “paying” for a good review. One way to provide an incentive is to offer a chance to enter a drawing to win a prize. This way you’re providing an option of winning that’s available to anyone.

If you haven’t incorporated online reviews into your marketing strategy, don’t wait. Your bottom line will thank you!