Recent surveys have shown that 83% of us will read at least one review before making a purchase.
Reviews are social proof and we live in a time when social proof is given more importance than almost anything else when it comes to deciding what to spend our money on.
Many shoppers will ignore products with no reviews if those products are displayed alongside products with reviews. Even a single positive review can boost sales by over 500%.
However, on average only about 1 in 50 customers will post a review. So what if you’re selling from your own store and don’t have a lot of customers (yet), or if you’ve only just launched your store? How do you start getting social proof?
It’s actually a lot easier than you might think 🙂 The reason only 1 in 50 shoppers leaves a review is not because they don’t want to. It’s because they don’t even think about it. It’s not important to them. It’s our job to make them think about it and give them a reason to do it!
When selling from your own store you can employ strategies that you couldn’t employ if you were selling on Amazon, eBay, or any of the other big online marketplaces.
In fact, there are things you can do to get as many as 1 in 2 of your customers to post a review about the product they purchased and/or, their experience with your business. So, even if your store is only getting 10 sales a week, you could turn around 5 of those into reviews.
Okay, so here’s my first tactic. It’s simple and it works!
Step 1 – Install a loyalty points app/plugin on your store.
Step 2 – Install a product reviews app/plugin on your store.
If you are using Shopify or WordPress, there are plenty of these types of apps and plugins available. Many are free or have a free trial so that you can try them out to see if you like them.
Step 3 – Create an email scheduled to go out to your customers about 2 weeks after the order was placed. You can adjust the time period based on your store’s shipping and delivery policies. Be sure to allow enough time for the customer to receive and use the product.
Email subject line:
‘Get 100 rewards points for reviewing your purchase of xyx’ (where xyz is the product they purchased)
Hi (first name)
Thank you for your purchase. We hope you love it. Would you consider posting an online review to help other buyers?
It only takes 2 minutes, but we know you are probably very busy, that’s why we want to reward you for your time.
(store name) will add 100 rewards points to your account, which you can redeem against any future purchases.
(link here for the customer to post a review)
Thank you in advance for your review and for being a preferred customer.
The second method, which can be used in conjunction with the first, is to place inserts inside the product packaging. This might be difficult if you’re drop shipping, but if you’re shipping the orders out yourself, it’s easy to do it.
You can have A5 or A6 inserts printed up very cheaply. Simply do the same as in email method. Ask for a review in return for reward points.
By the way, I’ve used 100 rewards points as an example. It could be less or more than that.
The third method is a variation on the above two methods. Do the same as above, but instead of rewards points, give the customer free entry into a prize draw where the prize is a gift card/voucher for your store. You could run a draw every quarter for example.
Okay so what else can we do to ask our customers for reviews? One of the problems with emails is that not everyone reads them – as we know!
We want to get the message out in as many ways as possible and one of the best ways is via your store Facebook page (you do have a FB page for your store, right? If not, you should seriously consider creating one).
You can create regular posts requesting reviews and use similar or the same methods as already described.
As time goes on and your sales, customers and reviews build up, you probably won’t need to do anything except for sending out a standard email asking the customer to leave a review. In fact, if you only do that and nothing else, you will still double the number of reviews you get compared to if you do nothing at all.
In the beginning though, when you need extra help to get your store sales volume up, use the strategies described in this post to build your reviews and social proof as quickly as possible 🙂