When you’re shopping online, do you ever look at the reviews before making a purchase? That’s because you’re looking to see how credible the product is.
Recommendations and reviews from real people rather than paid ads make you more likely to trust the source. In fact, one survey found that 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This helps shoppers discover quality brands and make confident purchases.
By offering rewards to customers who give product reviews, you’re incentivizing them to stay loyal to you, and you’re acquiring new customers through honest and real messages from real people.
When you tie loyalty and reviews together, you get an extremely powerful retention tool.
In this article, we’ll dive into how you can effectively use loyalty to generate product reviews for your store, and how it will help increase your brand’s customer retention for guaranteed success in the future.
Integrate your loyalty app with a reviews app
What is your loyalty program setup? Are you able to integrate it with other apps? When it comes to setting up your brand’s marketing stack, you’ll want to look for best-in-class apps that allow you to have integrations with everything else you’re already using. This will make your job so much easier. Choose a loyalty app that has the ability to integrate, so you can reward customers for actions like product reviews.
The reason you’ll want to integrate a loyalty and reviews app together is because incentivizing customers for leaving a review is a great customer acquisition and retention tactic. In fact, a single business review can lift its conversions by 10%. This is why both reviews and loyalty are essential for your business’ success.
Set up product reviews as a way to earn loyalty program points
Once you have an integration for loyalty and reviews available, your next step is to set up reviews as a way to earn points. Keep in mind that loyalty is not a one-size-fits-all tool, but you can configure the way customers earn points for reviews to match the rest of your current loyalty configuration. Take Shine On’s rewards launcher, for example, where they showcase to loyalty members right away how they can earn 100 points for writing a review.
An important thing to consider is that it takes more work for a customer to write a review than to like your brand on Facebook or Instagram, so make sure you’re rewarding customers accordingly. In order to write a review, they would have had to have already made a purchase—that in itself is more deserving of loyalty points than other actions that take less work and effort on the customer’s end. By incentivizing fairly for the customer’s effort, they’ll be more likely to remain loyal to your brand, come back for a repeat purchase, and maybe even leave another review for more points. It’s a perfect retention-cycle strategy.
Keep in mind that 86% of consumers would consider writing a review for a business. With a rate that high, imagine how much more likely customers would be willing to leave a review if they are incentivized to do so. This is the power loyalty programs can have on customer actions.
Follow up with recent purchases and ask for a review
When someone makes a purchase at your store, it’s always good practice to follow up and thank them for their purchase. You appreciate personalized communication like this from brands you purchase from, and your customers are no different. It helps build that loyal customer relationship between them and your brand.
A great tool to reach out to your customers is email. Aside from all other ways for a brand to reach customers, 61% of people said they prefer brands to contact them through email. This makes it the perfect tool to thank each customer one-on-one.
However, you can take this one step further by sending an email after customers receive their purchase. In this post-purchase-and-delivery email, ask customers how they liked their purchase, share a link where customers can sign in or sign up for your loyalty program, and explain all the value in leaving a product review. This is the best way to remind them in a way that is completely in line with your branding that they’re a part of a brand community where they can benefit greatly for future orders, and give your products some real, credible testimonials for new customers to discover!
Share reviews on all your marketing channels
When customers write positive reviews about your products, they’ve already shown their loyalty to your brand. These reviews will also empower your brand when new customers discover it, so make sure you use them to your marketing advantage. Aside from email, SMS, and on your website directly, take an omnichannel approach and reach out to your customers through other value-added content types. For example, you can leverage your reviews and loyalty on social media to create a higher impact from customers that follow you.
Previous research shows online reviews can drive 73% more conversions for low-cost products and 86-97% more conversions for high-value products. This conversion rate will increase if you’re taking reviews and presenting them across all channels. For example, use Instagram stories to highlight some of your best product reviews, share a product image on any platform and use a customer review in the caption, or tweet reviews with a link back to that same product. There are a ton of options.
With these shared reviews, don’t forget to tie in loyalty. For some of the reviews you share online, you can also share how many points that customer earned for writing it as a way to advertise both your products and your loyalty program at the same time. This will add more credibility to your brand and ensure more sign-ups for your loyalty program, leading to increased retention and repeat purchases.
Respond to reviews accordingly
It’s important to respond to reviews in a timely manner, whether it’s positive or negative. Of course, no one likes to get negative reviews but look at these as an opportunity to better your brand or your products so you can ensure future positivity from all customers. Besides, 30% of customers feel positive about a brand who responds to online reviews, so take the time to do it to show your loyalty too.
For each review, acknowledge the effort your customers put toward your brand, so whether they write a positive review or a negative review, thank them for the time they put into doing it in the first place. After you thank them, make sure to let them know how many points they earned by writing one, so there is a positive takeaway for each customer.
Any negative reviews should be responded to with care—let them know you’ve heard what they’re saying, share with them how you intend to improve the product in the future, and offer a way for them to contact you if they want to take the discussion further. This will rebuild a relationship with those customers, so you can foster a loyal brand experience no matter what.
Key takeaways to make customers smile
As you can see, combining product reviews with a loyalty program can have a major positive impact on your business. Not only will you retain customers through incentives, like reviews, to make repeat purchases, but you’ll acquire a whole new group of customers based on the credibility those reviews bring to your brand!
Get the winning combination of reviews and a rewards program for your ecommerce brand right now.
This article was written by Tina Donati, Content Marketing Specialist at Smile.io: an easy-to-build loyalty app trusted by 30,000+ ecommerce brands who want to offer rewards to increase repeat purchases, strengthen customer retention, and grow powerful brand communities.