How Customer Reviews Impact Conversion Rates
Online businesses are always looking for reviews. In fact, really successful businesses spend a considerable amount of time and effort soliciting reviews and providing perks for customers who are willing to provide feedback. But why? The answer has to do with conversions.
The Correlation Between Reviews and Conversions
It makes sense that positive reviews from customers would increase trust between consumers and brands, but just how much of an impact do they have? According to one study of the impact of reviews on conversion rates for FigLeaves.com, products with reviews have a 12.5 percent higher conversion rate than those without. Furthermore, products with 20-plus reviews have an 85 percent higher rate.
While this is obviously just one isolated study, it does speak to the role reviews play. They’re a direct form of social proof and help reduce friction and doubt in the online purchase process. Reviews of any form – including those on third party websites – are effective, but onsite product page reviews garner the biggest return.
4 Suggestions for Collecting More Reviews
If your website is like most, you don’t have nearly enough customer reviews. So what can you do to gather more feedback and give your conversion rates a boost?
The following suggestions have helped many brands that were once in your shoes:
1. Use Real Images
As power and influence of customer reviews have grown over the years, some marketers and business owners have attempted to take advantage of the system by creating fake reviews. This has planted doubt and distrust in many consumers. You have to keep this in the back of your mind when publishing reviews on your site.
One of the best things you can do is actually paste a photo of the reviewer next to the review to increase credibility. You can see an example of this on TYME’s testimonial page. Notice how much more credible the reviews appear since they have pictures next to the names.
2. Cast a Wide Net
If you really want to leverage reviews, you should cast a wide net. This means asking for reviews via your website, email marketing list, social media, landing pages, and anywhere else where you directly interact with customers.
As the FigLeaves.com case study shows, the more reviews you get, the higher the conversion rate. Never stop pursuing reviews simply because you already have a few positive ones.
3. Include Some Negative Reviews, Too
There’s a bad practice going around in certain ecommerce niches and it involves deleting negative reviews. While you may think this is a good idea, research and expert opinions show that negative reviews can actually be good for business (under certain circumstances). Specifically, negative reviews are helpful when they contain polite phrases like “I’ll be honest” or “I don’t mean to be mean, but…”
4. Allow Users to Vote
Are you familiar with upvote systems? Modeled after the popular site Reddit, the upvote system allows users/customers to rate reviews. They can mark reviews as helpful or unhelpful. As a result, new customers see the most helpful reviews first. This self-governing system can assist you in giving your customers the best, most accurate information possible. It’s not foolproof, but it’s a pretty good start.
Make Customer Feedback a Bigger Priority
Customer feedback needs to be a bigger priority. While a noticeable boost in conversion rates is one benefit, there are plenty of other reasons for taking an ambitious stance on this front.
For one, customer feedback allows you to see what you’re doing right and what areas can be improved for greater satisfaction in the future.
Don’t take this responsibility lightly!