When it comes to increasing conversions, product reviews reign supreme. By calming any doubts potential customers may have about choosing one product over another, user-generated reviews help take the guesswork out of shopping. But while nine out of 10 consumers use reviews, far fewer actually write them. In fact, according to PowerReviews research, only 42 percent of shoppers leave feedback for products they buy. That number falls to 32 percent for consumers aged 18 to 29—a prime target for the majority of brands and retailers.
Often, what deters shoppers from leaving reviews is having to jump through multiple hoops in order to do so. Consumers lead busy lives and need as little friction as possible in their interactions with brands and retailers—whether that’s shopping or providing feedback. Thus brands and retailers need to make the process of leaving a review as easy as possible.
Here are two recommendations to help simplify your review process and start collecting more reviews.
Follow up with online and in-store shoppers.
Sending a post-purchase email to shoppers who have made a recent purchase is a simple, yet impactful, way to generate review content. But just because you send post-purchase emails doesn’t mean reviews will start pouring in. The content and design of your post-purchase emails plays a key role in whether a shopper decides to write a review.
Limit your subject line to 55 characters to drive open rates, and keep the content of the email short and simple to encourage shoppers to write a review. Speak directly to customers by using their name and thanking them for their purchase. While it may be tempting to push another product or service with a call-to-action, those extra few words will only serve as a distraction to the main ask of the email—to write a review.
Don’t just collect reviews from your online shoppers. Brands and retailers with brick-and-mortar locations can tap in-store shoppers for reviews, as well by leveraging their existing loyalty programs. In May 2015, a major sporting goods retailer partnered with PowerReviews to increase the amount of reviews it was collecting. To do this, the company used its loyalty program to link in-store transactions with the customer contact information it had already collected to send those shoppers post-purchase emails. Through these efforts, the retailer was able to increase month-over-month content submissions by 178 percent.
Optimize for mobile.
There are few things that bring more convenience to our lives than our smartphones. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all consumers open emails on their mobile devices. So if you send a post-purchase email, the chances are good it’s going to be opened on a smartphone or mobile device. That’s bad news for retailers that have yet to optimize their post purchase emails and write-a-review forms for mobile.
Cater to this growing segment of consumers by optimizing both your post-purchase emails and write-a-review forms for mobile devices. A visually appealing email or site that loads within seconds and is easy to navigate can make a big difference in the number of reviews you collect.
A complicated review process can often derail a retailer’s efforts to gather online reviews. Most consumers won’t bother to muddle through a review submission process that is either too time consuming or difficult to access. Instead, meet them where they are by sending post-purchase emails that enable customers to quickly, easily provide feedback from any device.
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Matt Parsons is the chief customer officer at PowerReviews.