The need to generate genuine product reviews is as big as ever. Whether you are just getting started with Shopify or are an established brand, customer reviews are an extremely powerful tool to build trust, gain social proof and generate sales.
Why customer reviews are indispensable for Shopify entrepreneurs?
Customer reviews are the most credible and authentic type of marketing content out there. Research shows that 91% of customers pay attention to online reviews when shopping. Moreover, 84% of customers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
The fact that social proof works doesn’t come as a surprise. In the end, what can be more trustworthy than another customer who has an experience with the product you’re contemplating to buy?
Once your customers reach your website or a product page, they make their decision quickly. And this is where reviews truly shine. Customer reviews and testimonials are an awesome way to boost on-page conversions. Here are the important stats to bear in mind:
- 68% of customers will make a purchase decision after reading between one and six online reviews.
- Overall star rating is the prime factor driving purchase decisions for 58% of consumers.
How can I generate more Shopify customer reviews for my products?
The fact is – your customers expect to see reviews on your website and product pages. The good news? Your customers also want to share their experiences.
If you have a consistent review generation strategy in place, you can succeed in getting more customer reviews and build strong relationships with your customers in the process.
We distilled proven strategies from analyzing the data of over 13,000 Shopify merchants to bring you the most effective tactics. Here are seven simple ways to proactively generate more online reviews that you can implement today.
Step 1: Make. It. Easy.
Your job as a merchant is to remove any friction and make it easy for your customer to leave a review. We can’t stress this enough. User experience is paramount throughout the purchase process. When it comes to review generation it is absolutely crucial to provide your customers with an opportunity to leave reviews with minimal effort.
Complicated forms with many questions will only discourage customers. Keep it short and sweet. The process should be extremely simple and effortless.
That is why we keep our review process simple. Our slick review form asks for 5-star rating, text, and a photo. No need to complicate things for your customers!
When you select a review app for your Shopify store, make sure that the review generation process is simple and user-friendly. Otherwise, you will be missing out on reviews.
Step 2: Ask (and don’t forget about your past customers!)
It’s surprising how many merchants ignore this obvious step and don’t ask their customers for reviews at all. It is true that some customers will leave a review on their own accord, but the majority will need some encouragement on your part.
Research shows that consumers will often leave a review for a business when asked. An automated review generation process is a great way to make sure that you are always asking your customers for a review.
In light of GDPR regulation, we strongly recommend sending emails only to customers who have consented to receive marketing emails.
The Loox app also allows you to send review requests retroactively to your past customers upon install. This can help you to kickstart review generation right away.
Step 3: Incentivize
Simply asking is great, but some customers will need an extra motivation to invest the time necessary to write up a review. To give this extra nudge, make sure to include an attractive offer, such as a discount for the next purchase. This way you don’t only get more reviews, but also increase your chances for repeat business.
1: Set up the discount
In your Loox admin select the type of discount, the amount and whether you would like to auto generate a unique, non-reusable code for each review (available in the Pro plan and up).
2: Make the incentive explicit in your review request email
Polish your copy and emphasize the incentive in your email.
3: Make the discount easy to apply
Generate a discount code that your customers can easily apply in your store.
Step 4: Customize the email subject and body
Default subject line and email body are just that – a default. They work. But by customizing email subjects to better fit your audience you can significantly boost open rates and the number of reviews that you generate.
Here are some examples from our customers who managed to achieve fantastic open rates and generated thousands of reviews from their review request emails. Below are the strategies they used to generate kickass subject lines that work.
So to recap — be transparent, honest and authentic with your customers, respond to negative reviews quickly but carefully, and show the world how much you care about your customers.
There is nothing wrong at all with wanting your store to be perfect. But to maximize the effectiveness of reviews you should realize that reviews are not about a perfect rating, but rather about striving to be better. Trying to appear perfect by hiding all negative reviews is not the optimal strategy if your goal is to maximize conversions. In the end, it’s how you handle negative reviews that makes all the difference.
If you need a little help with generating customer feedback, automate the process with Loox.
Emphasize the incentive
Sometimes, stressing the incentive in the subject line works wonders.
[Name], claim your $10 coupon code!
- Open rate: 44.06%
- Reviews generated: 3,983
Here is another example:
Hey [Name], Your 10% Discount Is Inside
- Open rate: 72.23%
- Reviews generated: 8,736
Run a contest
Ignite the competitive spirit by running a contest. Give your customers a chance to win awesome prizes for leaving a review.
Show off your [Storename] product and win $100!
This merchant has run sweepstakes in addition to giving out 10% discount to all customers who leave a photo review. Each month, one lucky winner gets a $100 coupon to use in the store. The results?
- Open rate: 65.45%
- Reviews generated: 5,347
Inject some humor
Lighten up the mood by writing humorous and light emails to your customers (if this fits your brand of course!)
An offer you can’t refuse: 25% discount for a selfie!
- Open rate: 47.45%
- Reviews: 4,683
Customers like to know that you care about the experiences they had with your product.
Hey [Name], how is your beard coming?
- Open rate: 33.34%
- Reviews: 1,543
Emphasize the emotional benefit of the brand
Emotions are strong drivers in decision making. Take advantage of your brand’s strength by appealing to your customers’ emotions.
[Name], help other sleep-deprived parents by leaving a review
- Open rate: 55.43%
- Reviews: 3,491
Experiment and try different copy options to find out what works best for your brand.
Step 5: Time it just right
With review requests, timing is crucial. Send it too soon and create a frustrating experience for your customers. Wait too long and risk missing out on the initial excitement of using a new product – the stuff spectacular reviews are made of.
There is no easier way to frustrate your customer than sending a review request when the product hasn’t even arrived yet. So make sure to time your review requests. Calculate your average delivery time, add a safety margin and additional 4-5 days to find the right timing for your store. This way the customer has plenty of time to try out the product and leave a review.
If your delivery times vary a lot between individual orders, it is best to rely on a solution that can automate review requests based on actual delivery time for each customer. That is why we offer AfterShip integration here at Loox, to make sure that our merchants get the timing just right to capture all that customer happiness.
Scheduling review requests based on actual delivery dates is crucial especially if your delivery times vary a lot between individual orders.
Step 6: Ask again by scheduling reminder emails
Sometimes, your initial request will catch the customer at the wrong time. It doesn’t mean that the customer is not interested to leave a review. That is why review request reminders generate 30% more reviews.
With Loox( best shopify review app), you can easily turn on review request reminders, which are second-attempt emails sent seven days after the first one for unreviewed items. Don’t forget to customize the reminder email’s subject and body.
Step 7: Send Photo Reminders to customers who left textual reviews
Humans are visual creatures, and our brains are hardwired to process visual data. In fact, we process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Visual content such as images, colors and shapes reach our brain faster than textual information.
Images evoke emotions, a crucial factor for many online shopping conversions. Reading textual reviews, on the other hand, requires conscious effort and takes our brains longer to process. And as you know, with eCommerce – first impressions are everything.
So the bottom line is – before the visitor even gets to reading the textual reviews on your site, they often have already made up their minds about whether to trust your brand or not based on visual cues alone.
So how to make sure that you get as many photo reviews as possible?
Some customers will leave a review without a photo included. Perhaps they didn’t have one at the time they submitted the review, or it was inconvenient for them as they were on the move.
Customers who already left a review are much more likely to respond positively to a request to send a photo as well. Our data shows that customers who are happy with the product are especially likely to leave a photo.
With “Photo Reminders”, Loox enables you to reach out to customers a few days after they left their review, and encourage them to add a photo to the previously submitted review.
We recommend activating the “Always send for review with 4 stars and up” feature in the Loox admin.
The bottom line:
These are the seven strategies we distilled based on analysis of what works best for over 13,000 Shopify merchants. To recap — make it easy for your customers to leave a review, don’t forget to actually ask, schedule reminders, time it right and don’t forget to incentivize.
If you need a little help, don’t be afraid to automate the process with an app. Loox empowers Shopify merchants to collect tons of visual reviews from happy customers and create elegant online stores shoppers can trust. Check us out on Shopify app store!