1. Use a reviews provider
One guaranteed method of getting enough customer reviews to make your product pages more persuasive for shoppers is to use a third party reviews provider, such as Reevoo or Bazaarvoice.
Many retailers, including Comet, Tesco, and Argos use these companies to add reviews to their sites. This is a useful way to build up a body of reliable reviews for product pages which could otherwise take some time.
These reviews are also authenticated, so customers know that the person leaving the review has actually purchased the product in question.
Drawbacks include the fact that such reviews tell other potential customers nothing about buying from your site in particular, as reviews are generally syndicated.
2. Email customers post-purchase
Sending an email after a customer has purchased an item to ask for a review is a good idea, but the timing is a key issue here.
You need to give customers enough time to have received the product and had to chance to start using it and form an opinion, but it still needs to be sent when the purchase is fresh in the customer’s mind.
This is a tactic which has worked for M&S recently. Thanks to including Bazaarvoice reviews functionality in post-purchase emails, Marks & Spencer has increased customer feedback by more than 400%.
3. Ask for reviews on product pages
There are plenty of product pages that have yet to attract customer reviews, perhaps because the products are niche, or newly released.
However, if you are attracting reviews from people who haven’t used the product or, as is often the case on Amazon, reviews for items which haven’t even been released, they may be less useful to other shoppers.
4. Make the process of leaving a review as simple as possible
Some users may not have a lot to say about some products, or may have a limited attention span, so make it nice and easy to leave opinions.
Offering customers the option of leaving a quick rating out of five or ten is one way, and provides a useful summary score to add to product pages, while another way to get a little more useful detail is to ask users to give different aspects of products a rating, as Reevoo does.
This also provides some useful detail for other customers:
5. Offer incentives for leaving reviews
If a customer has purchased an item, one way to get them to take the time to write a review is to offer an incentive, as Comet does here:
This is possibly best limited to post-purchase emails, so that people aren’t leaving reviews just to enter a competition or receive a discount.