How to Get Your Customers to Write Reviews
Authentic reviews can boost sales and customer trust for e-commerce businesses. / Credit: Star rating image via Shutterstock

How do you create interest and trust in a product that someone can only see a picture of? For e-commerce retailers, customer reviews on their company website or social media pages has become a big part of answering this question.

"Shoppers cannot physically see and feel the products they are buying online, so e-commerce stores need to find other ways to build trust and tell the whole story about a product," said Udi Ledergor, head of marketing at social review platform Yotpo. "Customer reviews solve this problem by giving shoppers more information about products, as well as providing social proof that other people have purchased and enjoyed them."

Research has shown that shoppers do trust online reviews, and reading them will often influence their buying decisions, Ledergor said. The problem is, customers rarely go out of their way to leave a review. Some companies get around this by asking or paying individuals to write positive reviews, but consumers have become wise to this scheme and can often tell instantly whether a review is from a real customer. [3 Big Challenges for Small E-Commerce Retailers]

"Customers are savvy and can easily spot fake reviews simply due to the fact that they are insincere," Ledergor told Business News Daily. "Reviews that are overwhelmingly positive or make mention of competitors are often fake. These reviews destroy trust with customers, who will simply shop elsewhere."

Encouraging customers to leave product reviews is all about making the process as simple as possible. Ledergor offered three tips to help you get more feedback:

  • Conduct reviews via email. When customers receive a request to leave a review, they often don't want to have to click through several links to do it. Allow your customers to write and send their review from within the request email. You can do this by manually tracking replies or finding a solution to automate the process.
     
  • Post reviews on social media. Share your customers' reviews on your company's Facebook and Twitter pages and feature them in a prominent location on your website. This will show your customers that you appreciate their feedback and welcome more of it.
     
  • Incentivize the process. Offering a coupon or discount in exchange for a review is a very effective strategy. It rewards a customer for writing a review, and gives them a reason to come back to your store.

Originally published on Business News Daily.