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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 15, 2009

Encourage customers to contribute reviews

So, you've made the leap and added user reviews to your website but you're starting from scratch and need to get those reviews rolling in, how do you go about it?

by Helen Leggatt

Providing consumers with user-generated reviews and feedback is a great way of building trust and loyalty. However, barren feedback pages can be a turn off, so you need to begin encouraging feedback as soon as possible.

A popular way to encourage consumers to provide reviews is to offer an incentive. managed to accumulate around 1,000 reviews on its site in just 10 days by emailing previous customers and asking them to write reviews, incentivized by a prize draw for a Visa gift card and a discount voucher for their next purchase.

To keep review pages filled with fresh content, keep reminding customers that their feedback is welcomed. There are a variety of touch-points that you might consider for this purpose, such as order confirmation emails, directly on a product page, in a regular newsletter or even on packaging confirmation documentation sent with the product.

Not all requests for reviews need to be incentivized. According to a recent study by BazaarVoice, the vast majority (90%) of consumers contribute reviews mostly out of a sense of goodwill.

"The customer's motivation for posting reviews is primarily that they want to help others make better purchase decisions," said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. "These customers provide a vital source of authentic content to help others find the best products for their individual needs."

Tags: BazaarVoice, consumer feedback, goodwill, incentivized, product reviews, user-generated

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