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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 20, 2017

Key to increasing online reviews is simple... just ask

With products flying out of warehouse doors at a rate knots, the festive retail rush should result in a fine haul of reviews, shouldn't it? Alas, that valuable customer feedback on which nearly all shoppers rely is elusive.

by Helen Leggatt

It's a fact that nearly all consumers will check out a company or product review while considering an online, or even offline, purchase. Mobile has enabled shoppers to check out the opinions of strangers on just about anything, just about anywhere.

However, it is also a fact that very few consumers write a review. In a recent Clutch survey, 81% said they did not write reviews of which 20% cited a lack of time as the reason. Meanwhile, 37% of the few who did live reviews did so out of habit and 33% left reviews only when they were especially delighted with a product or service. Just 2% of reviews were prompted by a negative experience.

The Clutch survey found that an incentive would motivate 10% of online shoppers to write a review, while 5% of those who already write reviews said incentives were what prompted them to do so. However, with strict regulations about incentivizing reviews, and large fines a consequence of falling foul of the law, there are other proven ways to encourage feedback.


Nearly a quarter (23%) of those in Clutch's survey who did write reviews were prompted to do so by an email request for feedback. BrightLocal's 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey found more than two-thirds (68%) of consumers left a review after a local business asked them to. Contacting customers via email or mobile to specifically encourage feedback should be considered a key role of post-purchase engagement.

Keep It Simple

Clutch's survey revealed that 1 in 5 customers are too tight on time to leave feedback - so make the process as quick and easy as possible using one-stroke input options and providing prompts.

Instil Trust

While consumers consult reviews before making purchases, for many there is the nagging thought that a company is choosing to show only the positive feedback or are faking reviews. BrightLocal's research found 79% of consumers believe they have read a fake review in the last year. Few products are perfect for every purchaser, and consumers expect to see a mixed bag of reviews. When asking for feedback, emphasis the need to receive both the good and the bad.

Increasing the quantity and quality of online reviews can boost local search performance, strengthen reputation, and provide consumers with the social proof they increasingly crave.

Tags: customer feedback, ecommerce, email, local search, online reviews, social

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