Online reviews influence 90% of consumer purchasing behaviour. Its presence is vital to boost eCommerce sales. For years, site owners have been wary of making customers reviews too prominent, for fear of criticism. However, if your brand wants to turn interested consumers into buyers, reviews are a helpful tool.


In fact, consumers are guided massively by social proof. They seek reassurance from their social groups before they act on anything. Even the most independent thinkers are not immune to the opinions of their peers. Customers reviews allow consumers to have their purchasing intentions validated. By taking note of other positive views on a product, consumers are given that little nudge towards the checkout.


The importance of online customer reviews


During the awareness stage of the buyers’ journey, users like to gather all the information they can about a product before deciding whether or not to buy it. Consumers reviews allow shoppers to get more insight into what a product is like and how it looks, feels and performs. By having this information to hand, the risk is mitigated, and consumers no longer feel like they are leaping in the dark with their purchases.


But, how can your brand encourage consumers reviews in the first place?


Website and transactional messages

The simplest strategy is to have an easy way to do it after a purchase or after the parcel has been delivered. Amazon has set the bar for customers reviews with a layout that includes the option to leave star ratings out of five and a bold and easy to find “leave a review” button next to products. Another option is to use transactional emails to invite users to leave their feedback. For instance, the “Thank You” message after a purchase is a great place to encourage customers reviews.




Third-party sites

The likes of Google, Yelp, Facebook and, even, Instagram comments all allow for customers reviews. Set your company up on these sites and remember to monitor them closely, thanking users for their feedback and addressing the concerns of those who did not find your products satisfying. It is essential to give consumers as many options as possible when it comes to avenues for leaving reviews. There are also industry-specific directories that might encourage users to provide you with feedback depending on your sector.




Conduct a qualitative research

According to Survey Monkey, “Qualitative research is exploratory, which helps you understand detailed information about a topic or problem (…) The ultimate goal is to develop a deep understanding of a topic, problem or problem from an individual perspective.” A good way to find out the general opinion about your brand, service or products is by sending this type of survey through newsletters. Invite people to share their thoughts and encourage participation by sharing the most positive customers reviews on your site and social media channels. Users like to feel like they are part of a brand. If the survey is anonymous, reach out to your customers afterwards to ask for their consent to share their opinions publicly.


Example of a qualitative survey


Be careful with reward customers reviews

Some companies and review sites still use rewards like coupons and discount codes to encourage consumer feedback. It takes considerable effort to write a review. However, it seems more natural for people to notify you when they are dissatisfied rather than the opposite. Most of the time, users take for granted being happy with the experience and the product, so they don’t feel the need to express it out loud. Here is when rewards can come in handy. Please note that this practice has been banned on some platforms cause it’s considered a way to “pressure” consumers to give positive opinions in exchange for a reward.


In conclusion, it seems obvious, but the best way to encourage a positive review is by providing an excellent service. In the case that something wrong happens, the way your brand handle the complaint and solve the problem can also lead to a positive review of the whole experience. In some cases, a bad situation can result in a learning experience from both the consumers and your brand. So, be sure to provide the best shopping experience, and the positive reviews will follow.